Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Australia – The Food Icons – Vegemite

Prompted by a friend who recently went to see the movie AUSTRALIA (thanks for the unintentional reminder Lau) I’m continuing my series on the food icons of the land down under.


This series will not be complete without the inclusion of Australia’s beloved Vegemite.


Vegemite is a spread made from leftover brewer’s yeast (a by-product of brewing beer). Vegetable extracts and spices are added to the end product to give it that unique flavour that can only be described as yum! Or yuk!


Vegemite is usually spread on toast, sandwiches, and crackers or if you’re my boss, corn thins. It looks a little bit like Nutella but with a heavier consistency more similar to peanut butter. It also, apparently, has high levels of B vitamins.


The taste… hmmm, how do I describe thee? Let me count the ways…

1. You look like Nutella but you definitely are not – Vegemite is one of a kind. It is by no means sweet. It is neither chocolaty despite its dark rich colour similar to that of my favourite spread.

2. You are salty like no other spread I’ve tried before – Yup, you can probably substitute vegemite for soy sauce. I was told I probably put too much on my toast but when I did put a thin layer of this stuff it was still remarkably salty!
3. Your taste is as divine as bovine – Exactly right! I couldn’t agree more with others’ description of this stuff. The taste is very much akin to beef bouillon. It might have veg in its name but it definitely tastes like meat.
4. One bite of you is just not enough – It’s actually too much! Love for this stuff is definitely an acquired one. I’ve tried it twice. I am not looking forward to the third one. But hey, they say you’ve got to try things 9 times at least (or was that 21?) before you “acquire” the taste. It certainly took me less time with other stuff.

I’m not knocking back Vegemite altogether. It is well-loved by my compatriots for a very good reason. And I do hope to attain this same level of adoration…someday.

8 comments:

raquel said...

i lived in Tonga for a year and Vegemite is as popular there as it is in Australia. I can't quite describe the taste but it reminded me of coconut jam sort of...

The Beancounter said...

Hello there raquel! Wow, that's news to me...i wonder how they manage to "sell" Vegemite in Tonga...

Give me coco jam anytime...vegemite, hmmmm, maybe some other time.

What did you do in Tonga btw?

Tangled Noodle said...

I just don't know. I'm trying to imagine it but I can't quite get there! Still, thanks for giving me more information about that I've heard or read before.

The Beancounter said...

Tangled Noodle, there's no other way but to taste it...you might actually like it.

KennyT said...

Perhaps you may try it with butter and cream cheese next time?

The Beancounter said...

thanks for dropping by KennyT...did you know you can now get CheesyMite... cream cheese and vegemite combined... i'm yet to try it but i will soon... thanks for the tip!

cusinera said...

Somebody actually recommended me to eat toast with butter and some thin scraping (as in very thin)of vegemite to counter my morningsickness when I was pregnant..it works. Good too for breakfast while nursing a hangover.

The Beancounter said...

hello cusinera...

Vegemite came out with a new version...combined with cream cheese... i'm yet to try it but sounds a bit more palatable...