As a consequence of spending a year Down Under (pre-university), I am obsessed with all things Australian, up to and including Neighbors, Home and Away, the SMH, Aussie Rules football, the Socceroos, Anzac bikkies, Aussie slang, surfing, and Summer Heights High.
But most of all, I am consumed by my love of Vegemite, the greatest…er… material ever. Vegemite is a traditional Australian condiment most frequently served on toast, and eternalized by Men At Work’s pandemic single “Land Down Under”. It’s a hard sell for the North American palate, which prefers sweetened spreads (peanut butter, jams, jellies, marmalade, honey). I usually describe the taste of Vegemite as savoury, malty, and soy-sauce-like.
More facts about Vegemite:
- 10 calories per tsp (believe me, 1 tsp goes a long way for this mighty condiment)
- one of the most concentrated sources of B vitamins in the WORLD (1 tsp has 25% RDI of Niacin and Riboflavin, 50% RDI of Thiamine and Folate)
- totally vegan!
- is basically concentrated brewer’s yeast extract, a product of beer manufacturing
I first tried Vegemite while employed at a Sydney, NSW cafe and was, in a word, disgusted. But I gave it a second shot, and a third, and soon enough I was hooked on the stuff. Unfortunately, due to its unpopularity in North America, Vegemite isn’t readily available. I’ve seen it once or twice at Loblaws for $6 a jar, but it’s a teeny-tiny jar and my student budget could rarely justify it. More often I’ve seen Marmite, Vegemite’s almost-equally delicious yeasty British cousin, but that’s also running for $5 or $6.
Just recently, my sister’s friend returned from New Zealand and brought me back a 400 gm (80-serving) jar of Vegemite and I was (and still am!) over the moon.
So…. has anyone else tried Vegemite? Like it/love it/hate it?