Comments: Reply to Marmite

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Self-defense is why I took to eating out. My father was the type to put celery in mashed potatoes so they would "crunch". Yehh.

Funny you should pick up on the same point I was going to comment on, Barrett - I wonder how many of us there are out there who began to learn how to cook out of self-defense? My mom was too busy working and gardening and grading papers to spend much time trying to make food taste good.

My father was probably the better of the two cooks in my family. I lost my mother early on, but her specialties were dried out burgers baked in the oven, grilled cheese baked in the oven, and boiled egg noodles drenched with butter and salt. All were tasty at the time, but none were exactly gourmet.

Now she WAS half-English, so that may explain it...

Having been brought up by parents who immigrated from England to the States in 1959, Marmite was a childhood staple.

A typical childhood breakfast in my home consisted of a soft boiled egg sitting a top an egg cup, with a glazed picture of Humpty Dumpty straddling his wall, sitting amongst radiating spikes of "Marmite soldiers." For those of you who aren't British by osmosis, Marmite soldiers are made by thinly spreading Marmite on toast, and then slicing the bread crosswise into four or five thin strips. These strips, or "soldiers" can be more easily dunked into cups of tea or coffee, or into the liquid yellow center of a soft boiled egg.

Another Marmite inspired breakfast consisted of a slice of bread anointed with a thin smear of Marmite, with a fried egg laid across the top. slicing open the yolk of the over easy egg sent rivulets of golden yolk into the bread, where it would mix with the salty savoriness of the Marmite.

After school snacks consisted of thin slices of Cheddar cheese, laid a top my mother's freshly baked bread, with a thin layer of savory Marmite bonding the soft sweetness of the thick crusted bread to the sharp Cheddar flavors.

My mother (who was originally from Italy, and a wonderful cook) often used Marmite in gravies; especially for roasts of beef served alongside Yorkshire pudding, roasted potatoes, and steamed broccoli.

Marmite is certainly a taste that must be acquired at a young age if it is to be appreciated in later life. The few friends who have seen me eating it and asked to have a taste look at me incredulously every time afterwards when they see me applying a thin layer of the stuff to a crusty slice of Italian Ciabatta or French Batard.

Cheers,
StrangeReading


StrangeReading: Thanks much for your story! One of the points of our "I Wouldn't Eat It" stories is that for many reasons, some people really do like this stuff we find disgusting.

It's nice to know that someone is eating the stuff becasue they like Marmite, and that it's not just being used to torture small children.

Marmite is the food of the gods. How can you not know this? I think you have to be weaned on the stuff in order to really appreciate it.

It's a peculiarly British thing (and ex-Empire: NZ, Aus and SA all have their own versions), and like they say, you either love it or hate it.

The original and best stuff has got a website at www.marmite.com. Go there and say sorry to the nice people.

That's www.marmite.com. I thought it was an automatic link thing. Bloody weblogs ;)

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