Thursday, January 12, 2006

Marmite And Me

Yesterday, I bought a small jar of Marmite, the popular British food-like item, at the small British import shop (they may also do exporting, though I am unsure of this. Maybe it goes on in the back.) in my charming Brooklyn neighborhood. I have been hearing about Marmite for some time now and figured- given my taste (pun intended! You know it!) for adventure and all- that it was time I stepped up to the plate and put some of it in my mouth.

For the uninitiated, Marmite is a yeast extract, which is a byproduct of the beer brewing process (I learned this last part through my tireless research on the Internet) that comes in a gooey brown spreadable form that looks not unlike something one might use to glue linoleum tiles to the floor or just gross people out in general. In Australia, it is known as Vegemite (though some argue that Vegemite and Marmite are not the same thing. For the sake of simplicity however, let’s just say that they are.), the popular sandwich spread immortalized in the popular Men At Work hit “Down Under,” the song that really put them on the map as far as I’m concerned.

Anyway, a friend was telling me recently about how a friend of hers had an English roommate with a stash of Marmite in their apartment. The friend decided to give it a try and was absolutely horrified by it. Still, there was something that kept her coming back and, before long, she found that she just couldn’t get enough of the stuff. Also- perhaps through some tireless internet research of her own (or maybe she just read the label)- she learned that Marmite is a great source for such things as vitamin B12, niacin, riboflavin, folic acid, and a bunch of other stuff we don’t normally give much thought to but then later find out our lives have been a complete mess without.

Since I love trying new things (though some might argue differently. F#@k you, Danny- I told you I just want to be friends!) and I am always looking for delicious spreads that pump me full of vitamins and minerals that might somehow rescue me from the hell of my existence (not really- things are actually pretty f#$king sweet for me in a lot of ways. Money and handjobs are in short supply, but my hair is great.), I figured Marmite might just be the thing for me. I bought the smallest jar available ($3.75- priced to move) since I wasn’t sure how this whole thing was gonna work out and I didn’t want to get stuck with a big jar of brown gooey stuff that I had no immediate use for (How many times have I said this before?) staring me down every time I walked into the kitchen (where I am pretty much planning on keeping it). I was pretty excited about my new purchase too, so much in fact that I pulled the little jar out of my bag while on riding the subway and opened it up just to get a good snoot-full.

This morning I decided to give the Marmite a try on a piece of toast (I read this is the most popular format). I am sad to report however that- as of this writing anyway- Marmite is perhaps the nastiest thing I have ever eaten. It tastes kind of like if you sprinkled salt and vinegar onto someone’s ass and then licked it while someone else wound up and kicked you right in the nuts (just guessing. Really.). I’m actually pretty disappointed that I don’t like it as there is almost no food I don’t like (I tried whole kidneys- the organ, not the bean- recently and wasn’t much into that either. Still, I would eat it for all six meals of the day over Marmite) and- given Marmite’s health benefits and the fact that mentioning to people that I eat it would only serve to make me seem slightly more interesting- it would probably serve me well to add it to my diet. I think I’ll give it another try though. Maybe it will grow on me over time, like a thick fungus or violent lover that I somehow can’t live without or something.

As I type this, a half-eaten slice of Marmite-slathered toast stares me down from the periphery. I’ll let you know what happens. Should things go horribley wrong however, just know that I have always loved you but have always been afraid to say anything.

Dave Hill


Blogger dalirahma said...

Dave, I thought of this post when stumbling upon this site today:

Kinda funny. And oh yeah, kick some ass tonight. I wish I could be in NYC to see Valley Lodge.

1:19 PM  
Blogger dalirahma said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:20 PM  
Blogger My mother says said...

check the amazing cave art on

6:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


A British person here a bit concerned about your consumption of Marmite. I know this is very late and I will check through the rest of your messages to see whether you have built up a resistance but I was worried about the word "slathered". Marmite is to be used sparingly. When I was a kid I used to have only the merest dots of marmite on my buttered piece of toast. Nowadays I have a little less than a level teaspoon of the stuff per slice. You have to start slowly.

10:17 AM  
Blogger info said...

How could you not like Marmite, the best tasting food ever invented. And I'm NOT being sarcastic.

9:02 AM  

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