October 23, 2006
Ozzies go home! And take your smelly yeast paste with you!

nokanga.jpgAn Australian friend of mine, Sam, sent me this link to a story about my homeland denying Australians in America the right to the pursuit of happiness. Yes, I know we've tossed most of the rest of the Bill of Rights out the door already anyway. But these are Australians. They have cute cuddly koalas and guys like Crocodile Dundee. Okay, yes, if allowed they will eat salty smelly yeast excrement. Oh wait, that's the issue. Yes, that's right, we are not allowing Australians to import - for business or private consumption - their beloved Vegemite.

You'd think they'd be thanking us.

But no, they are howling at the thought of not being able to spread the vaguely edible substance on their morning toast. Some of you may remember Barrett's enlightening review of Marmite, in which he elucidates the difference between Marmite and Vegemite ("Vegemite is supposedly bland salty yeast crap"). Personally, it makes me think of a Saturday Night Live Sketch I saw many years ago, about a shop that sells All Things Scottish. "Jesus, Dad," moans the son, "it's like all Scottish cooking is based on a dare!" And some Australian ones too, it would seem...

Posted by Meg in Sussex at October 23, 2006 1:33 PM Print-friendly version
Comments

Have you ever tried Vegemite? Without trying it, how can you say how horrible it is?
I love Vegemite, and it's is very good for one's body.
American/Aussie's and Aussie/Americans unite, bring back our Vegemite!

Posted by Rayborn on October 23, 2006 at 2:57 PM

I used to eat it for a while (both Vege and Mar varieties) to be "in" with my Aussie and Kiwi friends, and to make sure those other Americans knew I was different. Now? I would love to have some, just to dare my kids to eat it. They like seaweed and dried fish, so you never know, they could like it.

Posted by tech_sam on October 23, 2006 at 5:07 PM

I used to eat it for a while (both Vege and Mar varieties) to be "in" with my Aussie and Kiwi friends, and to make sure those other Americans knew I was different. Now? I would love to have some, just to dare my kids to eat it. They like seaweed and dried fish, so you never know, they could like it.

Posted by tech_sam on October 23, 2006 at 5:09 PM

Don't diss the Vegemite! Love it on me toast in the morning....little butter, nice cuppa tea...lovely jubbly! You can say its horrble when you see someone eating it in a peanut butter and jam sandwich. But don't diss the Veg! Aww....I miss my Vegemite....blast this starving university student life.

Posted by Amanda on October 23, 2006 at 7:01 PM

I looooovvveee Vegemite. The one thing that Vegemite has over Marmite is that it is a wholly vegetarian product. Marmite is meat...gross!

Try it out sometime before baggin it!

Posted by Mel on October 23, 2006 at 10:45 PM

I looooovvveee Vegemite. The one thing that Vegemite has over Marmite is that it is a wholly vegetarian product. Marmite is meat...gross!

Try it out sometime before baggin it!

Posted by Mel on October 23, 2006 at 10:50 PM

Just for the record - I DID try Vegemite, when the Critic and I were on our honeymoon in Australia. It didn't make me gag, but frankly neither did I see the point of subjecting myself to it on my toast with tea. Give me home-made jam from my brother every time over the Vegemite! ; )

Posted by Meg in Paris on October 24, 2006 at 12:24 AM

Nothing like 'the bite' of Marmite on hot buttered toast !! Some people just don't have any taste.....;)

Posted by deccanheffalump on October 24, 2006 at 5:38 AM

Nothing like 'the bite' of Marmite on hot buttered toast !! Some people just don't have any taste.....;)

Posted by deccanheffalump on October 24, 2006 at 5:41 AM

I am not thrilled with the stuff myself. Hubby prefers Vegimite to Marmite. But really the good stuff is to have Kalles creamed cod roe on a knackbrod and some herring and a hard boiled egg. That will get you going in the morning.
Oops! I digress... I have tried both the Marmite and the Vegemite both were equally not impressive to me. However Vegemite and Marmite I had used in gravy to help get a better color and some added salt when needed. So it does have some redeeming qualities.

Posted by Tai Tai on October 25, 2006 at 1:51 AM

And actually, I forgot to mention the most intriguing part of the story - the reason the US is banning it has to do with the added folate, which surely should be seen as a redeeming quality rather than a reason to ban? Unless I'm mistaken, that's the same as folic acid, which is very beneficial to pregnant or trying-to-conceive women. And why should it matter whether it's added to a bread or cereal or a paste??

Posted by Meg in Paris on October 25, 2006 at 4:03 AM

It seems that the entire business is rather overblown. You can see that it's been rather thoroughly researched at http://melbourne.metblogs.com/archives/2006/10/vegemite_ban_or.phtml and there is an article about it in the Herald Sun as well: http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,20641599-5005961,00.html.

Posted by Kate on October 25, 2006 at 1:35 PM

Thanks Kate! I wonder where the story originally came from? One of the debunking articles I saw nevertheless included a quote from Kraft saying that the importation WAS banned. Go figure!

Posted by Meg in Paris on October 26, 2006 at 6:39 AM


There is no ban on Vegemite. This is urban legend. I don't feel particularly inclined to eat the stuff but I can think of a lot of foods that fall into that category. Here is a link to the article on Snopes that documents the urban legend :

http://www.snopes.com/food/warnings/vegemite.asp

Hope this helps dispel any rumors and perhaps it will leave more fruit preserves for me. ;-)

-Art

Posted by Art Pollard on October 26, 2006 at 1:51 PM

Hey Mel, what's all this "Marmite is meat...gross!" stuff? Check out the Marmite website for the entirely vegetable ingredients...

http://marmite.co.uk/love/nutrition/ingredients.html

Yeast Extract
Salt
Vegetable Extract
Niacin
Thiamin
Spice Extracts
Riboflavin
Folic Acid
Celery Extract
Vitamin B12

Incidentally, I think that both Marmite and Vegemite are great on hot buttered toast.

Posted by The Critic on October 27, 2006 at 1:07 AM

Hey Mel, what's all this "Marmite is meat...gross!" stuff? Check out the Marmite website for the entirely vegetable ingredients...

http://marmite.co.uk/love/nutrition/ingredients.html

Yeast Extract
Salt
Vegetable Extract
Niacin
Thiamin
Spice Extracts
Riboflavin
Folic Acid
Celery Extract
Vitamin B12

Incidentally, I think that both Marmite and Vegemite are great on hot buttered toast.

Posted by The Critic on October 27, 2006 at 1:07 AM
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