Yes, it is heavenly ⚔️ No, I would rather eat actual tar
April 3, 2017 6:22 PM   Subscribe

Marmite: The Origins of the World's Most Divisive Condiment
As for those on the fence about the taste? Well, there’s not really a fence. “I have, to date,” says Watkins, “only met one person who has claimed to be ambivalent about the taste of Marmite, and I don’t believe them.”
(h/t Miss Cellania)
posted by Johnny Wallflower (107 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
 
A TASTY BYPRODUCT OF THE BREWING INDUSTRY.

Mmmmmm.
posted by Artw at 6:28 PM on April 3, 2017 [2 favorites]


I'm convinced this "debate" is a form of stealth marketing by the Marmite people - I mean, you never hear this about other potentially "controversial", boldly flavored condiments like Branston Pickle, do you?

No - people who do not like Branston Pickle simply go quietly about their business. Don't be a sucker!*

* I'm married to a half-Australian whose parents spent many years in England, so I have both Marmite and Vegemite in my house. As a Marmite partisan fighting a war in my own family - THAT'S where the action is.
posted by ryanshepard at 6:30 PM on April 3, 2017 [22 favorites]


It's OK. I wouldn't go out of my way for it. The ads with Paddington were pretty good. Posting this will probably give some people a reason to pointlessly squabble about their taste in condiments as if other people care. So that's a useful service.
posted by Wolfdog at 6:34 PM on April 3, 2017 [1 favorite]


Branston Pickle: Yes, it is heavenly ⚔️ No, I would rather felch Satan Himself
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:36 PM on April 3, 2017 [6 favorites]


i don't eat Better Than Bouillon straight from the jar, either; doesn't mean I don't use it in cooking.

spreading that stuff on toast is a little weird, though.
posted by indubitable at 6:39 PM on April 3, 2017 [7 favorites]


Proud to say that my American daughters quite like it!
posted by idb at 6:40 PM on April 3, 2017


He fails to mention that Marmite wasn't originally marketed as a spread, but as vegetarian bouillon (something I picked up from Jan Marsh's book Back to the Land: The Pastoral Impulse in Victorian Britain, 1880-1914). This makes the flavor make a little more sense, and is helpful when you've got some soup to make and no stock. Marmite really does work well in a pinch.
posted by ryanshepard at 6:43 PM on April 3, 2017 [11 favorites]


spreading that stuff on toast is a little weird, though.

Some butter is acceptable.

Proud to say that my American daughters quite like it!

I'm quite tour of my daughter, the Twiglet fiend. The other, who is less adventurous, is acceptable. I will not judge her.
posted by Artw at 6:44 PM on April 3, 2017


How is marmite as a drink? Because a couple bouillon cubes in hot water as a hot drink after hiking all day is kind of awesome. (You have to hike first, otherwise this is a terrible idea).

But Marmite as a drink sounds... worse than just Marmite.
posted by nat at 6:45 PM on April 3, 2017


Nobody Bovrils Marmite.
posted by Artw at 6:46 PM on April 3, 2017 [11 favorites]


Fun fact about Bovril: it's named after Vril Energy - get your Victorian era woo with lyour meat drink/spread!
posted by Artw at 6:48 PM on April 3, 2017 [9 favorites]


Marmite but dad will, amirite? I like my Marmite on a toasted english muffin with butter and cheese.
posted by valkane at 6:52 PM on April 3, 2017 [3 favorites]


The Origins of the World's Most Divisive Condiment

Did you all not see the peanut butter thread?

In any case, the most divisive condiment is clearly the fermented fish 'ketchup' Garum.

Modern equivalent.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:55 PM on April 3, 2017 [4 favorites]


I'm pretty ambivalent. I mean the main problem with marmite is it's hella salty, the solution is to just use less. It's fine. I don't get what the big deal is.
posted by juv3nal at 6:57 PM on April 3, 2017


I think part of the reason you get the strong reactions from people who don't like Marmite in a way you don't with, as suggested, Branston pickle, is the appearance of Marmite. It does not look like a foodstuff. Branston pickle (and any other common-in-Britain strongly-flavoured condiment you care to mention*) don't look like the bastard offspring of roofing tar and smoke residue like Marmite does.

*Vegemite is considered to be basically Marmite for these purposes, and any purposes as far as I'm concerned, as they are completely equal in the fetidness.
posted by Dysk at 6:58 PM on April 3, 2017


Oh, no no no. That is a completely different substance. It has a texture.
posted by Artw at 7:02 PM on April 3, 2017


My French-teacher grandmother -- who always did have a slightly wicked streak to her -- used to torture her exchange students by offering them the "vegetable jam".

I'm convinced this "debate" is a form of stealth marketing by the Marmite people

No, it's real: there were definitely Marmite families and non-Marmite families when I was growing up.

But Marmite as a drink sounds... worse than just Marmite.

I did try this once, swilling a big empty jar -- and really, who buys the small jars? they don't last long enough -- with just-boiled water and drinking the results. Now, I like Marmite; but this stuff looked like ditchwater and tasted like salty death.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 7:03 PM on April 3, 2017 [1 favorite]


In any case, the most divisive condiment is clearly the fermented fish 'ketchup' Garum.

It's sad that the Scots never developed a native Marmite equivalent - that would take this debate to a whole new level of ferocity.
posted by ryanshepard at 7:05 PM on April 3, 2017 [7 favorites]


And no, Vegemite and Marmite are in no way equivalent or interchangeable. Nope.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 7:06 PM on April 3, 2017 [7 favorites]


They absolutely are, in the same way that "would you like to die in a frying pan, or in a fire?" is really just one option: death.
posted by Dysk at 7:08 PM on April 3, 2017 [5 favorites]


Branston pickle is divine, but it really reaches its full potential only when paired with Colman's mustard.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 7:11 PM on April 3, 2017 [6 favorites]


I quite like Marmite, but Vegemite is divine. I recently bought a kilo of the stuff from Amazon.
posted by namewithoutwords at 7:11 PM on April 3, 2017 [2 favorites]


It's a dessert toping!

No, it's a gasket sealant!

Actually, it's a dessert toping AND a gasket sealant!
posted by ocschwar at 7:12 PM on April 3, 2017 [12 favorites]


Looks like you got cheated out of 50 grams there, namewithoutwords.
posted by Dysk at 7:13 PM on April 3, 2017 [1 favorite]


*mite is basically MSG and salt paste. American tastes have been drawn towards sweet the last few decades so it's not surprising there's not a big demand for it. Australia on the other hand has cuisine that's all umami, all the time.
posted by Talez at 7:13 PM on April 3, 2017 [3 favorites]


I may live in a small village in upstate NY, but believe it or not, the local Wegmans sells Marmite in the international foods aisle.

Anyway. When I first arrived, I had an Anglo-Jewish colleague who loved Marmite, despite the objections raised by his otherwise American family (his kids used to chase each other around the house with open jars, shrieking in terror). One day, he insisted that I had to try Marmite, so he slathered some on matzo (hey, it was Passover), and handed it to me.

I dutifully took a bite.

My colleague told me that he had never seen anyone look so disgusted.

Needless to say, that experience did not inspire me to take advantage of Wegmans' stock of Marmite, although I have been known to indulge in the imported English chocolate bars.
posted by thomas j wise at 7:15 PM on April 3, 2017 [2 favorites]


I am a strong advocate of Vegemite (being Australian) but if I'm going to introduce anybody to it, I'll use about as much as you might use of wasabi.
posted by solarion at 7:19 PM on April 3, 2017 [3 favorites]


My gran [dmother] used to give us hot marmite in a mug sometimes, as it's considered nutritious. We were raised eating marmite (usually in sandwiches with cucumber, or just on a slice of bread and butter) so it tasted totally ok and normal, like a consommé.
I could understand someone not loving the taste of Marmite but I've never understood how you could really hate it - a bit salty maybe but there's just so much umami in the flavour.
posted by Flashman at 7:19 PM on April 3, 2017 [1 favorite]


helpful when you've got some soup to make and no stock. Marmite really does work well in a pinch.

Marmite was my go-to for stews until I discovered gochujang paste.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:20 PM on April 3, 2017 [2 favorites]


People forget that you have to start small. I've been eating the stuff for decades. I can eat a spoonful from the jar without turning the roof of my mouth to stone. If you slather it on like peanut butter of course you're going to hate it. Also, butter makes it so much better.

Also, *mite is firmly chametz. Nobody should be eating it at passover.
posted by Talez at 7:20 PM on April 3, 2017 [3 favorites]


1) Spend a long time in pub
2) Come home from pub to icy cold flat because you are a student in Scotland
3) Have very little money and anyway all takeout options are closed because see above
4) Toast bread
5) Spread copious amounts of butter on toast
6) Spread sparing amount of Marmite on soppingly buttered toast
7) Swoon
posted by oneironaut at 7:22 PM on April 3, 2017 [19 favorites]


It's a little odd that the article opens with the Christchurch earthquake but doesn't mention that the NZ version of Marmite is made under license and is different to the English version; says Wikipedia:
The product's popularity prompted the Sanitarium Health Food Company to obtain sole rights to distribute the product in New Zealand and Australia in 1908. They later began manufacturing Marmite under licence in Christchurch, albeit using a modified version of the original recipe, most notable for its inclusion of sugar and caramel. Common ingredients are also slightly different quantities from the British version; the New Zealand version has high levels of potassium, for example. New Zealand Marmite is described as having a "weaker" or "less tangy" flavour than the British version.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 7:23 PM on April 3, 2017 [3 favorites]


NZ Marmite is sort of like how caramel corn is to regular popcorn. It's still pretty good and you'll eat it but something feels a little off about it.
posted by Talez at 7:26 PM on April 3, 2017 [2 favorites]


I wouldn't eat a condiment that sounds like the name for a mystical ore in a cut-rate fantasy novel.
posted by Groundhog Week at 7:27 PM on April 3, 2017 [8 favorites]


The Australian friend who introduced me to Vegemite gave me written instructions on how to acclimate myself to it. Step 1 was to wave a knifeful of it over a slice of buttered toast, so you can imagine how gradual an introduction it was. I grew to like it, but it isn't exactly cheap in any of the stores that carry it 'round these parts, so I haven't kept up the habit.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:28 PM on April 3, 2017


In any case, the most divisive condiment is clearly the fermented fish 'ketchup' Garum.

Learning about this a few years ago really made me wonder just how much intermingling has been going on in the 'Golden Chersonese', because that sounded exactly like budu, which i grew up eating. goes great with chilli paste and a squeeze of lime with your rice dish of course. Durian optional.

Needless to say I never quite got what is so terrifying about the *mites. They do go well as vegetable bouillon! As a drink I prefer Bovril.
posted by cendawanita at 7:29 PM on April 3, 2017


Also, yes, when you can scrape no more out of the jar, fill it up with boiling water, swirl it around, and enjoy your tasty, nutritious, salty-umami Marmite flavour broth. Yum.

Not sure if this works with Vegemite, as that bursts into flames if you look at it funny, or at leasts tastes like it will.
posted by motty at 7:30 PM on April 3, 2017


I was about to say I had had Marmite, but now that I think back on it I am pretty sure it was Vegemite. I think at one point my mom or dad was amused by the Men At Work song and picked up a jar. Weirdly, I don't recall having any strong opinion on it, I didn't particularly want more but I also didn't think it was living death.
posted by tavella at 7:32 PM on April 3, 2017


MARMITE IS NOT VEGEMITE
VEGEMITE IS NOT MARMITE
posted by buzzv at 7:38 PM on April 3, 2017 [4 favorites]


PROMITE IS BETTER THAN EITHER.
posted by Jimbob at 7:39 PM on April 3, 2017 [2 favorites]


So, the husband has got the two boys addicted to marmite. The oldest was introduced to it when he was in a nursery school that had buttered toast with marmite. Third child was introduced to it very purposefully as a toddler in the US. Second child with sweet tooth wants nothing to do with it. Every breakfast is buttered waffles and marmite; every sandwich has a smear of marmite, every pancake has butter and marmite, every bread product with butter and marmite. I was going to do an AskMefi about safe quantity of marmite to safety rules for children. Because we are in process to Australia move, we have been trying to vegemite transition with very mixed results. Now I find out that NZ marmite is not the same as UK marmite... this may cause problems.
posted by jadepearl at 7:39 PM on April 3, 2017 [2 favorites]


> “only met one person who has claimed to be ambivalent about the taste of Marmite, and I don’t believe them.”

OK, weird. I am emphatically ambivalent. I like autolyzed yeast and all the umami that comes with it (like Maggi, which is strangely sold in the "Mexican food" section around here; I'm sure there's a reason that involves me not knowing enough about who eats what).

Marmite though, and also Vegemite - I can take it or leave it. There just doesn't seem too much to do with either, other than just spread them on bread? OK but kind of too intense.

But remember that after the zombie apocalypse, umami will be worth its weight in gold! It'll make all the rice and beans or whatever palatable. And this shit keeps for decades. So I might stockpile some just in case.
posted by kleinsteradikaleminderheit at 7:40 PM on April 3, 2017 [2 favorites]


PROMITE IS BETTER THAN EITHER.
leperoutcastunclean
posted by prismatic7 at 7:42 PM on April 3, 2017 [3 favorites]


Also also, and not wishing to derail the controversy too far, if there is a better pairing for Marmite than challah, I'd very much like to hear of it. Generous spreading of butter goes without saying, obviously.

[edited, can't spell]
posted by motty at 7:50 PM on April 3, 2017 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Wegmans is where I get my Marmite. They also have Vegemite. And HP Sauce. And Jammie Dodgers and Jaffa Cakes. They even have that Salad Cream stuff, but I've never bought it. It's pretty much a go-to if you wanna do a Dr. Who snack marathon.
posted by valkane at 8:05 PM on April 3, 2017 [3 favorites]


I wish I could try Marmite or Vegemite, but I am a credit cardless peon with none available in the area.

Also, I thought the most argued over condiment was cilantro/coriander leaves. [looks confused and B-vitamin deprived]
posted by Samizdata at 8:16 PM on April 3, 2017 [2 favorites]


I can't believe no one's posted this Ackee and Saltfish skit yet. Marmite plays a crucial role.

ackee & saltfish web series | ep 2 | "breakfast"

(For the record, I liked marmite the few times I tried it. Unfortunately, it also made me wheeze, so it sadly goes into the 'foods that hate me' bin, along with peanut butter, walnuts, strawberries, and most booze.)
posted by spinifex23 at 8:34 PM on April 3, 2017 [1 favorite]


Speaking of HP Sauce, I got a gift jar of it in my stocking at Xmas. What is it good on?
posted by tavella at 8:38 PM on April 3, 2017


Chips.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 8:43 PM on April 3, 2017 [1 favorite]


HP Sauce makes cheap meat tolerable.
posted by Mitheral at 8:44 PM on April 3, 2017 [1 favorite]


if there is a better pairing for Marmite than challah, I'd very much like to hear of it.

bagel. marmite. cream cheese.

you'll wonder how you ever lived without it, and why any sentient being would choose to do so.
posted by multics at 8:48 PM on April 3, 2017 [3 favorites]


I can't believe no one's posted this Ackee and Saltfish skit yet. Marmite plays a crucial role.

I misread and thought this sentence was saying that Marmite belonged in ackee and saltfish (the dish, not the skit), and was all ready to be up in arms.

I don't mind the saltiness of Mar/Vegimite, but the funkiness makes me want to hurl, even just smelling it. There are plenty of other fermented products that I enjoy, but these in particular don't work for me.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:51 PM on April 3, 2017


I love Marmite, but my wife can't abide it. But at least she has taken a side in the great debate.
posted by arcticseal at 9:02 PM on April 3, 2017




HP Sauce makes cheap meat tolerable.

HP Sauce makes it possible to eat the spiceless food made for my children's bland palates.
posted by cardboard at 9:17 PM on April 3, 2017


Chips.

Rough equivalent would be steak fries.

Would also suggest bangers and mash but the right kind of sausage is hard to come by - not enough filler material.
posted by Artw at 9:26 PM on April 3, 2017


Marmite is fantastic in mac and cheese (homemade, not Kraft dinner). And I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who puts it on bagels.
posted by betweenthebars at 9:36 PM on April 3, 2017


My kids were raised on marmite in their congee/kanji/bubur. They've turned out ok. So far.
posted by BinGregory at 9:37 PM on April 3, 2017 [2 favorites]


What's it like with cilantro on it?
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:43 PM on April 3, 2017 [6 favorites]


It's not that the *mites have a long shelf-life it's that they taste exactly the same when they're off as they do when they're fresh
posted by um at 10:05 PM on April 3, 2017 [3 favorites]


> marmite in their congee/kanji/bubur.

In their what now? Their gruel/Japanese writing system/something Indonesian I think?
posted by kleinsteradikaleminderheit at 10:16 PM on April 3, 2017


Australian here, I prefer Marmite to Vegemite, and Promite will do in a pinch. Those three are pretty much the pinnacle of burned, spreadable salts.

Ozemite isn't utterly terrible. Most of the knockoff yeast extracts like AussieMite, MightyMite etc. are a bit ordinary, and there's one I found in a health food store (YeastyMite? Something like that) that was good but also wrong. The Aldi knockoff BrekkyMite is thixotropic (pseudoplastic?) garbage.
posted by turbid dahlia at 10:27 PM on April 3, 2017 [1 favorite]


"Posting this will probably give some people a reason to pointlessly squabble about their taste in condiments as if other people care."

So how do you fill your day?
posted by turbid dahlia at 10:28 PM on April 3, 2017 [5 favorites]


I wouldn't eat a condiment that sounds like the name for a mystical ore in a cut-rate fantasy novel.

Steer clear of Bovril, then - named for the energy source of a mysterious subterranean race and later used to power Nazi UFOs! (kinda maybe ok not really).
posted by obiwanwasabi at 10:29 PM on April 3, 2017 [2 favorites]


Also, Branston Pickle or corn relish, plus Vegemite/Promite/Marmite, plus grated cheddar, on white bread, in Glad Wrap, in your luchbox next to the Fruit Rollup, is a killer sandwich!
posted by turbid dahlia at 10:31 PM on April 3, 2017 [1 favorite]


Vegemite reigns supreme in a lonely poll of one (me) at work. Most of my colleagues had never seen Vegemite, so I pulled my jar out of a desk drawer and allowed several of them a sniff. To a one, they recoiled. What's wrong with these people, I muttered quietly to the delicious brown substance within.
posted by but no cigar at 10:39 PM on April 3, 2017 [2 favorites]


So this one time my wife asked me if I wanted a piece of hot buttered toast that she had decided was one too many at breakfast. I grabbed it, slathered on the usual thick layer of Marmite and took a bite. At this point I discovered that, unbeknownst to me, she had already applied an equally large amount of honey which had melted in and vanished - from sight but certainly not from taste. This is one of very few times since early childhood that I can recall having food on a plate in front of me that was so unpleasant I really could not bring myself to eat it.

> and really, who buys the small jars?

Me, recently :( because my local stores have stopped stocking the big ones and nobody seems to know why. I blame brexit, naturally.
posted by merlynkline at 10:39 PM on April 3, 2017 [1 favorite]


marmite in their congee/kanji/bubur.

In their what now? Their gruel/Japanese writing system/something Indonesian I think?


Lol no kanji is also a malay/Indonesian word for starch, and bubur is also general noun for porridge/congee, but in this case he probably meant rice porridge. So basically rice porridges of all kinds.
posted by cendawanita at 11:32 PM on April 3, 2017 [1 favorite]


My theory is that if you had a Venn diagram that includes a circle for people who like anchovies and one for people who like marmite, there might be some significant overlap. (I happen to like both, and I think it has to do with the type of flavorful saltiness.)
posted by SpacemanStix at 11:35 PM on April 3, 2017 [4 favorites]


You can make a passable sandwich filling by spreading *mite on both sides of a piece of toast. If you close your eyes and think hungry thoughts, it almost tastes like charred steak.
posted by colin.jaquiery at 11:57 PM on April 3, 2017 [2 favorites]


A teaspoon of Marmite added to a pot of simmering French onion soup works wonders.
posted by faceplantingcheetah at 12:18 AM on April 4, 2017 [2 favorites]


All this talk of dishes using Marmite, and no Marmite chicken?
posted by satoshi at 12:23 AM on April 4, 2017 [2 favorites]


HP is best used in bacon sandwiches.

Don't put it anywhere near your chips.
posted by edd at 12:33 AM on April 4, 2017


As an American living in Australia with my two Australian kids and my English husband, the Vegemite vs Marmite vs None Of The Above wars in our house are epic. To my deep sadness, unfortunately I am the only stalwart for "None." My children are only 1 and 4 but both of them have already realised that the best way to make my husband happy is to aver a greater love for Marmite. Despite that, when they're not kissing up to him, it's Vegemite all the way.

The entire thing is testament to me to the great power of cultural assimilation, because I can't imagine any other reason anyone would voluntarily eat something that looks, tastes, and smells like something you put in your car's engine.
posted by forza at 1:40 AM on April 4, 2017 [1 favorite]


usually in sandwiches with cucumber

Yes! marmite and cucumber sandwiches.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 2:01 AM on April 4, 2017


I neither love it nor hate it.
posted by Drexen at 2:34 AM on April 4, 2017


Marmite + science = white marmite.
posted by biffa at 2:51 AM on April 4, 2017


Well yeah tap vigorously at just about anything for long enough and you'll end up with a white, viscous paste.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:26 AM on April 4, 2017




What the holy hell? Toast + shitloads of butter + shitloads of honey + shitloads of vegemite is the toast of heaven.

Vegemite maybe. I'll have to try it. But Vegemite is not Marmite, which does not give in to honey so easily - the fight on your palette is real!
posted by merlynkline at 3:46 AM on April 4, 2017


Marmite is good in steel cut oats with butter and hot sauce. I'm eating some right now.
posted by jmignault at 3:49 AM on April 4, 2017


Savory oats. BRILLIANT!
posted by leotrotsky at 4:30 AM on April 4, 2017


Have any of you Marmite fans ever had or smelled shrimp paste? As I cook a lot of Thai food, I use it with some frequency, and like it; when I recently had a bit of Marmite for the first time, it reminded me a lot of shrimp paste, and I also liked it. (Unlike Marmite, shrimp paste is usually cooked, though, and its very strong smell mellows out quite a bit when cooked.)

I mean I guess this isn't surprising as they're both umami bombs, and I also really like blue cheese and stinky tofu so clearly like this family of flavors. I know Marmite and Vegemite are basically associated with the Anglophone world, but I would bet that if you gave it to your average Thai home cook (cooking in a cuisine that makes plentiful use of umami-rich fermented fish products) they'd shrug and think nothing special of it.
posted by andrewesque at 5:03 AM on April 4, 2017 [1 favorite]


What's the difference in flavor between marmite and vegemite? All I'm understanding is that they both taste like salt.
posted by raccoon409 at 5:54 AM on April 4, 2017


Vegemite started as a wartime substitute for Marmite.

I think you might have misread the article. Demand for Marmite during WWI wartime shortages demonstrated that there was a solid market for it, spurring Fred Walker & Co to develop a local product launched in 1923.

Marmite but dad will, amirite?

This is almost, but not quite the cockamamie marketing scheme that Fred Walker & Co came up with when sales didn't take off as expected. From 1928 to 1935, Vegemite was rebranded Parwill so they could use the advertising slogan Marmite, But Parwill. No, I'm not making this up. It… didn't go well.* (Surprisingly, this is not the worst marketing decision made by Vegemite. Meet iSnack 2.0. ) They changed the name back to Vegemite, started cross promotion with Kraft Cheese, ran poetry competitions where you could win fancy American Pontiac cars, and started winning market share. We can thank the US for making Vegemite what it is today.

What's the difference in flavor between marmite and vegemite? All I'm understanding is that they both taste like salt.

Marmite actually comes in two varietals, the original UK version, and the Antipodean version, made by the good Seventh Day Adventists of the Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing Company. Since both Unilever and Sanitarium hold exclusive naming rights in the UK and Australia/NZ respectively, the products are marketed as Our Mate and NZ-Mite in the other's territory.

The common element is that they're all umami salt bombs. NZ-Mite is sweeter (more caramel and sugar) than the original Marmite. To my palate, both NZ-mite and UK-mite have more cheese/beef stock/fermented funk elements than Vegemite, and Vegemite has a pleasant bitter note that the Marmites lack. Consistency is also different - Vegemite is thick like a firm peanut butter, whereas Marmites are slightly viscous.
posted by zamboni at 6:35 AM on April 4, 2017 [4 favorites]


I've never had Marmite itself, but I had some Marmite flavored potato chips once. They were ok.
posted by jonmc at 7:03 AM on April 4, 2017


if you gave it to your average Thai home cook (cooking in a cuisine that makes plentiful use of umami-rich fermented fish products) they'd shrug and think nothing special of it.

can confirm
posted by BinGregory at 7:44 AM on April 4, 2017


I've had marmite crisps and I could eat twiglets the whole day long but I find straight-up marmite to be vile.
posted by biffa at 7:48 AM on April 4, 2017


I'm convinced this "debate" is a form of stealth marketing by the Marmite people

It's not really stealth marketing, it's their actual marketing.
posted by biffa at 7:50 AM on April 4, 2017


I love marmite. I had a craving for it right after our first child was born, when my milk came in and seemingly every vital nutrient was leaving my body through my nipples on an hourly basis, and I made my husband go hunt some down for me.

My beloved husband looked at my beloved Marmite toast, made a moue of disgust, and said "the last time I saw something that looked like that, I was wiping it off my baby's ass."

Don't care, still love marmite.
posted by KathrynT at 8:46 AM on April 4, 2017 [1 favorite]


What's the difference in flavor between marmite and vegemite?

This Philistine Yank can't taste a significant difference.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:54 AM on April 4, 2017


Hot buttered toast with marmite is my comfort food.
posted by twilightlost at 9:00 AM on April 4, 2017 [3 favorites]


As people have mentioned, even to an avowed fan, too much Marmite is a bit hellish. The trick is to scrape it on. When the butter and Marmite mix into a light brown paste that's quite good.

When the butter has melted too much the Marmite doesn't spread so well so you get clumps of Marmite and that's a bit much.

Vegemite is a horrible substitute for Marmite. There is an altogether fraudulent component to the flavour/texture combo that feels like somebody has melted Plasticine into it. and Kiwi Marmite is no good either.
posted by trif at 9:13 AM on April 4, 2017


New Zealand Marmite is so much better than UK Marmite or Vegemite*

I also have a jar of swiss marmite at home, but haven't been brave enough to try it yet.

* A totally unbiased opinion
posted by piyushnz at 10:01 AM on April 4, 2017


The Junket in El Cerrito used to carry Twiglets. I miss Twiglets!
I do have a jar of Marmite that I haven't finished. It's a lot stronger than Twiglets though.
When I took a guided Thames cruise last October, the guide pointed out one of the office buildings and joked that "that's where they're hoarding all the Marmites." Yay Brexit jokes.
posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 10:34 AM on April 4, 2017


At the grocery around the corner, marmite is in the "American" aisle.

I buy a jar every so often because I add it to soups. Sometimes I eat bouillon paste from the jar with a carrot, but I tried it once with the marmite and ... But I still dutifully add a teaspoon to my chili like Serious Eats tells me to.
posted by you could feel the sky at 1:04 PM on April 4, 2017


Love *mite and love shrimp paste (there are lots of different kinds! There's even an upscale version made from prawn coral (immature egg sacks). Can't stand blue cheese, though.

> gochujang paste

I think 'paste' is redundant here, like ATM machine. Jiang is the word for paste. /pedant //may-be-an-incorrect-pedant-wannabe
posted by porpoise at 4:02 PM on April 4, 2017


Or chai tea.
posted by Chrysostom at 5:16 PM on April 4, 2017 [1 favorite]


Jiang is the word for paste

Ooh, thanks! I hate not being absolutely correct in my usage of unfamiliar terms (no snark, I'm truly grateful).
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:03 PM on April 4, 2017 [1 favorite]


What's the difference in flavor between marmite and vegemite? All I'm understanding is that they both taste like salt.

I quite like both, and if you gave me a blind taste test, I don't think I could tell you which was which. But while both have a savoury taste, they're not particularly salty.

Why don't you try it and see for yourself?
posted by HiroProtagonist at 7:19 PM on April 4, 2017


To my mind, Marmite is a little tangier and umami-er.
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:43 PM on April 4, 2017


My family is Teochew, so we regularly have Teochew porridge (muay). For my dad and me, Marmite is absolutely essential. We coil a generous dollop of it on a clean chopstick, then stir it thoroughly into our porridge. Noms.

Incidently, we also love fermented shrimp paste, fermented fish sauce, dried fish, fermented oyster sauce, and Cincalok.

We've tried Marmite chicken a few times - there is never enough Marmite in the marinade!
posted by Alnedra at 10:54 PM on April 4, 2017


We coil a generous dollop of it on a clean chopstick, then stir it thoroughly into our porridge. Noms.

Not unlike what my family does with fuyu and plain congee: take a salty, umami rich thing and use it to flavour an essentially bland rice porridge.
posted by juv3nal at 11:33 PM on April 4, 2017


One of my sister's six-pm-what-am-I-feeding-the-kids fallback meals is marmite pasta. It's good!

This makes sense to me - toast, pasta, congee and porridge are essentially the same foodstuff, just with varying degrees of chewiness.
posted by colin.jaquiery at 1:27 AM on April 5, 2017 [1 favorite]


Aussie here, and a happy little Vegemite. Always Vegemite in my house.

However, and purely objectively speaking, Marmite and Promite are clearly just the reduced oozings from Satan's diseased bottom, and thus entirely suitable for consumption by Poms and Kiwis.

You know it makes sense.
posted by Pouteria at 8:34 AM on April 5, 2017 [3 favorites]


And I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who puts it on bagels.

I would put Cheesybite on them. Cream cheese and Vegemite all in the same jar at the correct consistency? It works a treat.
posted by Talez at 8:04 AM on April 6, 2017


From the NHS Choices blog, which discusses health research claims and evidence: Reports that Marmite prevents dementia are laying it on a bit thick
posted by Lexica at 6:29 PM on April 8, 2017


« Older A Genocidal Nursery Rhyme   |   First good archaeological evidence of preventing... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments