Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Happy Little Vegemites

Yes, this foodstuf is more than a national treasure, it's an institution. Every dinkum Aussie can sing the jingle, spread the right amount and has some of this salty black goodness in the cupboard.
“We’re happy little vegemites as happy as can be, We all enjoy our vegimite for breakfast, lunch and tea”

It's one of those 'foods' that you really never think about until it's not there or when the jar's empty you're racked with incredible cravings - and most times, the jar is empty. Expats import it by the ton and even adventurous foreigners have procured some in large quantities.

Vegemite was invented in 1922 by Cyril Callister in an attempt to figure out what to do with brewery waste products, namely the sticky gooey yeasty bits left over after fermentation. It was actually a grey muddy colour, resembling that thick lubricant that you use on engine and tractor parts but by adding caramel to it, a shiny black paste was born and looked more palatable (apparently). It became a hit during the depression mainly because it is high in B vitamins. Parents suddenly found a way to feed their children high nutrition at a very low cost, and Vegemite took off like a rocket.. It wasn't until the 1930s that Walker foods, the makers of Vegemite in Australia, sold out to Kraft. Worth noting is that while Kraft IS an American company, it has never marketed Vegemite in the USA. Probably with good reason.
This Australian staple is best eaten on toast as a breakfast food or on very fresh white bread with lashings of butter or between two buttered vita wheat pressed together to procude buttery/vegimite ‘worms’. If you’re not sure how much to apply (and this is very important), consult this instruction page on how to make vegemite toast. Brian, your 455 grams should last about a decade!


Dario Sanchez said...

Is that like Marmite over here?

Marmite is rotten.

Baino said...

Hellow you manic depressive. I thought you'd gone off the air. I was worried about your welfare! Yes it looks like marmite but doesn't have the 'sweet' taste. It's one of those things that we miss when it isn't there but don't give a shit about when it is. (pssst . . .Brian's giving it a try)

Brianf said...

I changed my order from the 455g jar to a 155g jar. I'm told i should have sometime next week.