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I never thought much about Marmite until I moved to New Zealand. I always believed it to be horrible, dreadful stuff, of course, but now its existence has become a personal affront, since my Kiwi son-in-law, who loves the stuff, has passed that love on to my wee granddaughter. Which means I have to purchase and keep a jar of it in my house at all times.

Funny how this spill has gotten everyone talking about it. At the Pakistan Daily Times, there’s an interesting piece on its origins (\11\30\story_30-11-2011_pg9_6 ), which ends with this bit of news: “ May it was banned in Denmark for being a potential threat to public health for containing added vitamins. Rice Crispies, Shreddies, Horlicks and Ovaltine were similarly affected.” Added vitamins are now a threat?

That does sound a little crazy, like the recent "water does not cure dehydration" thing from some EU body. (Although that wasn't quite as crazy as it sounded--they were saying that there are medical conditions in which water doesn't in fact cure dehydration.) And that's why we can't have something like the Danish health care system in the U.S.: they must be willing to follow rules without making too much fuss about it. Some of us are, but a great many absolutely are not.

That article is very funny--"One slightly eccentric individual..."

You didn't say whether you've actually tried it or not. Surely you have? Was it as horrible as you thought?

By the way, some of the comments on that Telegraph story are pretty clever. "M1 closed because of Marmite spill, drivers are taking B12 instead."

I tried Marmite many years ago when I worked with an Indian fellow whose wife sent him off to the office with dainty little Marmite sandwiches for his afternoon tea. Well, he offered me one after I raised my eyebrows at them, and I'm here to confirm that the stuff is ghastly. Not only does it have that yeasty, vitamin-ey thing going for it, it's super salty.

Re making foods with added vitamins illegal: Come to think of it, there doesn't seem to be any vitamin-fortified food here in NZ, not even vitamin D in milk. I think it's been in U.S. milk for a very long time, hasn't it?

All very strange.

Knowing that Marmite is based on some sort of yeasty by-product of brewing, all I can come up with by way of imagining the taste is brewer's yeast, which is frequently recommended as a food supplement and which I've always found hard to get down. But if this is possible, surely it can't be that bad.

I haven't noticed lately, but certainly vitamin D in milk and all sorts of other vitamin additions to foods are very common here.

I like marmite, but it's not in my top ten edibles.

I'm very curious about it. Surely some specialty store in this area sells it.

There is an English guy, Andrew Stuttaford, at National Review who I think is a Marmite fan. The taste that he finds absolutely unspeakably abominably disgusting is Dr. Pepper. Which I rather like, as far as that kind of thing goes--I don't drink any of them very often.

I loved Dr. Pepper as a kid, until someone told me it contained prune juice. (Don't think that's actually true, though.) Anyway, I think I’m known as a finicky eater, so maybe my verdict on Marmite shouldn’t be taken as gospel.

I like anchovies. My wife thinks this is sick.

The thing about very salty foods like marmite, vegemite and my personal favourite promite is that you are meant to spread them very thin. If your toast is hot and you have lots of butter with a small scraping of the stuff then - yum! It is a well known fact that Americans don't know how to eat it properly :)

Not many Americans have even heard of it, much less tasted it, much less tasted it more than once, it appears. I think .1 is a reasonable guess for the percentage of Americans who have heard of it (that comes out to one in a thousand, right?--that's what I mean, anyway). Although I suppose the percentage may have grown in the past 10 years or so, because of the internet. I don't think that's much increased the number who have tasted it, though.

Just for fun, I googled 'americans who like marmite' and found several videos which may be amusing. Can't take time to watch them at the moment but maybe someone else can.

I would have guessed the same as Louise. Marmite is simply revolting if it is not spread thin. But spread thin on good bread and butter it can be delicious. One can readily imagine an American laying it on like peanut butter and blaming the consequences on the Crown.

Yes! And Mel Gibson could make a revenge movie about it. Although since he's Australian his fondness for Vegemite or something might outweigh his anti-British emotions.

Did y'all notice that picture I linked to above--in the comment beginning "Knowing that Marmite..."? That kid isn't spreading it at all thin, and he is clearly enjoying himself.

Dr Pepper is an abomination. I don't know how anybody can drink it without gagging.

Marmite is delicious, but only in small doses (to be spread *very* thin). It is, basically, brewer's yeast.

I find it almost inconceivable that "brewer's yeast" and "delicious" could be anything other than an antinomy. I really must try this stuff. My wife says there is a little shop in town that sells British stuff, including a few food items. I'm going to see if they have it.

One problem I keep having is that it in the pictures it looks just like apple butter, which is a sort of jam- or jelly-type thing made of pureed apples and brown sugar. So when I see that child covered in it I think "Well, of course, children love sweets." I'm afraid the resemblance is lulling me into a false sense of security.

I almost had a Dr. Pepper with lunch today but decided I didn't need the caffeine.

I wanted to press "like" on expat's and Paul's comments! We had a couple of lovely Americans staying with us during WYD08. Tom saw the jar of Vegemite on the shelf and looked at the ingredients. "hey! This is just solid beer with salt!" :)

Well, if you put it that way...sounds pretty good.

Hang on, though--shouldn't you be siding with your fellow colonists against the Crown?

Hey, I'm just quoting one of your compatriots! But no, when it comes to the "solid beer" spreads, I am entirely with the Crown. Besides, Australia isn't a republic yet and like it or not HM QE2 is our Queen.

I realise, of course, that things would be much better if I were the Queen of Oz, but we have to work with what we've actually got. :)

I can't believe I ever missed your post "Christ the Despot?"

I'm about to go over there and rant about my plans to rule the world...

I might start by making the consumption of Vegemite etc compulsory :)

I really like Marmite. I have a friend who visits England regularly and brings me a jar back whenever I run out. It does remind me of anchovies, esp. anchovy paste, but with a yeasty flavor instead of a fishy one.

Also, speaking of Dr. Pepper, when I was in college in Dallas I met some folks who drank it hot. They would heat it up and drink it in winter time like tea, with a twist of lemon. The heating process makes it lose its carbonation, and as a result it tastes less sweet. It was actually pretty good. I haven't drunk it that way in ages, and I don't know how it would taste nowadays, since it now contains HFCS instead of sugar.

Now that you mention it, I think I remember that being a brief fad many years ago, maybe in the '70s. I'm not sure whether I ever tried it or not but it does sound sorta good.

The Marmite-anchovy connection makes it sound ever more intriguing.

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