Saturday, July 01, 2006

A whole nation could be wrong

I did it. I actually tried Vegemite.

After many, many conversations about the proper way to eat vegemite, and "why haven't you tried it yet?" I finally broke down so they can all just stop with the vegemite questions already!

With lots of butter, no butter, only a little margarine, on toast, on fresh bread, on a roll, a really thin layer, a really thick layer... I was beginning to start shouting "I will not eat it on a boat, I will not eat it with a goat!"

So this morning I got up, took out a piece of my freshly made bakery white bread, thinly sliced, put on a light coating of butter, and got out the vegemite. (This just happens to be a little jar that Stephen had left behind with strict instructions that "you will have to try it eventually." There's no way I'd actually buy the stuff.) I cracked open the jar, and whoof, salty. I could be standing next to the ocean for all that salt. I peek inside and it's brown. Dark brown like, like... chocolate. It's sticky and spreads fairly well and actually looks like nutella, which everyone knows is the chocolate-hazelnut gift from the gods. Maybe it won't be so bad.

Thin layer of vegemite complete and it's time to take a bite. I gingerly take a taste. Burning! It burns! It is SO salty all I can feel is the salt on my tongue. OK, next bite. This time there won't be the shock of the salt. I take a few breaths and prepare to actually taste why this stuff has become part of a culture. I bite in and wow, that's really just a lot of salt. But this time, I taste the faint bit of yeast. It's kind of like the smell of well, yeast. A slight tinge of walking through Golden, only without the hops.

This? This is the product that generations of Australians have grown up on? Bleech.

I picked up the bottle and looked at the ingredients. Yeast extract, salt, and mineral salt. Plus some extra stuff, but wow, the first three ingredients are killer. Why on earth would you want a salty yeast sandwich? The jar touts "a good source of vitamin B", but I think I'll stick to nuts and oats for the same bits of the B vitamins, thanks.

By the way, my reference to Golden wasn't far off- vegemite was created as a way of marketing brewer's yeast. See?

So, there you go. I tried, I really did. Now maybe they'll leave me alone about it for chrissakes.


Trina said...

I'm sorry you had to go through that experience. Maybe you've learned something for the better though: stay away from weird foods - no matter how enticing they are!

Anonymous said...

Yeast is a great source of vitamin B. Why do you think I brew my own beer :)