Who hasn't heard the song Land Down Under and wondered about vegemite? My boys and I had talked about it this weekend, and I decided we would have to experience this Australian delicacy. Delicacy may not be the best way to describe this product, but it IS a foreign food to us that we have heard that the Aussies, and Brits love, and we're always up for new culinary experiences.
Here is the total sum of what I knew about vegemite: People in Australia use it as a spread on bread the way Americans use peanut butter. I learned this from a man who had lived in Australia for two years. I assumed SO MUCH more from my little informational tidbit. I assumed it was LIKE peanut butter. I assumed it was GOOD. I assumed I would want to consume the whole jar by myself.
Apparently there is some great debate about which is better: Vegemite or Marmite. In Saint George, Utah, there was not a wide variety of these "yeast extract pastes" to sample. So I bought Marmite. Forgive me if you are a big fan of vegemite, and feel that I have drawn my conclusions using the wrong spread. If vegemite is ANYTHING like Marmite, I think my conclusions would remain unchanged.
I licked the brown, thick paste from the top of my little pumpkin. My nose wrinkled, my forehead wrinkled, and I grimaced. I wished I could have reversed the entire process, removing the offensive taste from my tongue. Its flavor would be similar to the taste of scrapings of burnt gravy from the bottom of a pan. At this point, it had to be swallowed. It made my mouth water, much the way nausea makes one's mouth water. I'm sure we would have the same reaction if we had been sampling any of the containers to be found in my spice cabinet. It is not meant to simply be eaten by itself. It needed a transporter...toast, maybe, or a cracker, but perhaps not a Pumpkin Creme.
Bridger's turn. He scooped up a generous amount of the goo, and popped the entire Marmite-topped pumpkin in his mouth. He began to chew. And he squirmed. Well, here, you can see his reaction here:
Dylan, our World Wide Web guru, refused to taste it, which I thought was pretty crummy of him. After all the reviews he had read about Marmite, which apparently is the yeast by-product skimmed from the top of vats of beer, he was content to take our word for it. It is full of folate and vitamin B. He asked to keep the jar, though, for future taste-testing parties such as this, I'm sure. If you are a friend of Dylan's, or his unsuspecting wife, I would be wary of having to sample anything that comes from small brown jars with bright yellow labels.