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Vegemite

Finally for the very first time in my life, just yesterday I got to try VEGEMITE, that “stuff” you hear about that’s so popular in the “Land Down Under” of Australia.

Aptly called a Yeast Extract, it looks and smells more like Beef Bouillon in a paste-like form.

The manufacturer’s website claims it’s high in B vitamins, however after tasting it, I’d say its highest “nutritional” content is SALT.

Now, with a name like “Vegemite”, you might be thinking a fellah’ like Popeye would be eatin’ this stuff up all day, along with his Spinach, right?

However, when you see what Vegemite looks like upon opening the jar top, unless you THINK like Popeye, you may feel otherwise…

That may look like chocolate, however trust me, it’s the farthest thing from it, flavor-wise.

Actually, this jar of Vegemite landed on our office lunch room table, with no note on how to eat it. Only a package of soda crackers on the side to eat it with. And that’s just WRONG. More than wrong, that’s outright CRUEL.

So not bothering to search online first, I just went for it and spread a whole heapful of Vegemite on one of them soda crackers….

And? Dude. Whoah! First of all, this s#%# is SALTY. As said previously, it pretty much tastes like a “hoppy” Beef Bouillon.

Being technically a Brewer’s Yeast, another way to describe its bitter flavor profile is like taking Guinness Stout (beer) and boiling the crap out of it  until you’re left with a syrup, then converting that into a paste.

So I don’t get it. Why on earth anyone enjoys a somewhat bitter, overly salty, beef bouillon-like paste as a snack spread or condiment is beyond me.

Thankfully the fellah who put it on the lunch table walked back in and casually asked me, “How do you like it?” To which I straight-up replied, “Dude, this $#%# SUCKS!” He just laughed in an almost “Gotcha’, Sucka!” sorta’ way, then suggested, “Well, it looks like you put too much on your cracker. Try a lighter spread of Vegemite.” So that’s what I did….

And? It’s essentially a  “less sucks” version of a thickly spread “completely sucks” cracker of Vegemite.

So of course I had to get Diner E on board, to which he quickly went online to see how to eat Vegemite the proper way. To which it turns out the most popular way is simply spread on toasted bread with butter. So that’s what we did…

After being toasted, with the butter melted in, now let’s try this here TRUE Vegemite Sandwich, just like the Men At Work “Land Down Under” song…

And? It still sucks. I’m sorry. It’s bitter, salty, yeasty, and way too savory and “Umami-fied”… more so than even shoyu. Not to mention, the color/appearance is just way too off-putting.

My final attempt at “Vegemite Redemption” is to try adding some Guava Jelly to it…

And? It’s MUCH BETTER, however, the Guava Jelly is simply cloaking that HORRID flavor of the Vegemite.


“Balut looks and tastes better than Vegemite” ~ Pomai

Incredibly, Vegemite gets lots of love by reviewers on Amazon, to which I say B.S. Those are paid reviews. Gotta’ be. There is just no way there could be that much love for Vegemite. To put it this way: I’d rather eat a dozen Balut, than eat one full jar of Vegemite.

When it comes to spreads in a jar, after now being able to say I finally tried Vegemite, all I gotta’ say is, thank GOD I discovered Biscoff!….

What? Vegemite
Who makes it? Kraft Australia division
Where did you get it and how much was it? An office coworker, free (thank God!)
Big shaka to: Nothing
No shaka to: Everything
The Tasty Island rating: – (minus) 10 SPAM Musubi

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18 thoughts on “Vegemite

  • December 12, 2014 at 9:15 am
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    Pomai-

    You are so daring and brave yet again! You risk your health, (or at least your taste buds), doing research to keeps us informed and answering the questions we have harbored for years!  Today’s post had me laughing out loud! I thought Vegemite would have been green, maybe from a combo of green veggies. Now, I don’t have to wonder any more! Thanks for brightening up my Friday!

    Reply
    • December 12, 2014 at 9:52 am
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      Doreen,

      Health risk indeed… like call the pharmacy to to reorder those blood pressure meds!

      I envisioned Vegemite looking more organic and natural, like a vegetable spread, with visible “pieces” of chopped veggies in it. It’s such a deceptive name.

      Reply
  • December 12, 2014 at 11:57 am
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    Vegetated is one of the higher (1400 mg) glutamates on the umam scale of taste just below parmigiano-reggiano cheese.

    Reply
  • December 12, 2014 at 12:00 pm
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    Vegemite not vegetated; %#$@ auto spell check!!

    Reply
  • December 12, 2014 at 12:53 pm
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    Yup. That is pretty much my reaction. Along with a “why”? It is on breakfast buffets in Australia. Whose breakfast is usually canned baked beans, eggs, fried tomatoes and mushrooms, bacon, Canadian bacon, and ham. Pretty good, but for the dreaded Vegemite.

    Reply
  • December 12, 2014 at 2:48 pm
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    @ Ken-San – I’m surprised you didn’t comment about how Vegemite tastes to you. Or is Vegemite one of the few things in your storied life you haven’t tried yet? I was expecting you to be the very one to be in total defense of the stuff!

    @ Pat – Exactly. Why? It’s like the chemists who developed Vegemite didn’t even taste their product. They just said, “Eh, eff it”, and put a stamp of approval for production… and the rest is history.

    Reply
  • December 12, 2014 at 3:20 pm
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    Pomai,
     
    I have not tried Vegemite but a cousin of mine through marriage lives in Australia and swears by the stuff!
     
    As I indicated vegemite falls in the same family of glutamates just like MSG, soy sauce, oyster sauce and kombu which are used to enhance the fifth sense of taste with umami and a little goes a long way.
     
    Would you slather a soda cracker with MSG, soy sauce, oyster sauce or kombu and try to eat it straight up like you did with the vegemite?

    Reply
    • December 12, 2014 at 3:29 pm
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      Ken,

      Funny you mention kombu on a soda cracker, as Diamond Bakery just released a new Furikake Soda Cracker. I tried, and it’s pretty good!

      Reply
  • December 12, 2014 at 3:46 pm
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    Kombu has the highest (2240 mg) of glutamates higher than vegemite (1400 mg). If you checked any of the recipes on the vegemite website you’ll notice they don’t use more than a teaspoon of vegemite in the recipes. 100g of vegemite has 3450 mg of sodium in it.

    Reply
  • December 13, 2014 at 1:09 am
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    Pomai, some local people (Me) would scratch their heads and wonder what to do with

    this vegemite.  I would think of adding it to make soup and noodle and have saimin.

    Reply
  • December 13, 2014 at 4:27 am
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    Wow, Furikake Crackers would be great gift for my cousins in San Francisco and

    Singapore and myself.  I sometime get tired of potato chips this something new and

    different.

    Reply
  • December 13, 2014 at 10:32 am
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    @ Amy – Here’s the Diamond Bakery Soda Cracker, the on the left…

     

    The one on the right is Diamond Bakery’s also new Sweet (HOT!) Chili Soda Cracker, which I actually liked better than the Furikake Soda Cracker, believe it or not.

    @ Kelike – My only suggestion of what to do with Vegemite is NOTHING.
    @ Ken – Thanks for doing the math. It looks like Vegemite has more sodium per mg than SALT! lol

    Reply
  • December 15, 2014 at 5:46 am
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    Wow, Pomai… No like vegemite?

    Me, too… Tried it in ’77 when our Australian Army classmate brought it in as part of a “Get to know our allies” week. I think only a couple of guys in the class liked it, with the rest of us reacting just like you did… (me included). But as you have documented on this site so many times over the years, “‘De gustibus non est disputandum” (“In matters of taste, there can be no disputes”).  After all, as you noted in this page, you compared it to the effort to eat balut. A major reason why Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods show is so riveting when he eats the local delicacies.

    Reply
    • December 15, 2014 at 12:26 pm
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      Keith-San,

      Andrew Zimmern often notes the two foods he dislikes the most: Almonds and SPAM. The latter of which is ironic, being he’s from Minnesota, the home of SPAM. Go figure.

      I’m serious about my comparison of Vegemite with Balute: I’d gladly eat a dozen Balut before even taking a full tablespoon of Vegemite. Dude, that s#&t is just NASTY!

      Reply
  • December 22, 2014 at 1:06 am
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    You’ve still got too much!  You need lots of butter and just a super thin smear of vegemite on the top – it shouldn’t be soaked into your toast like that!

    Reply
  • December 22, 2014 at 1:09 am
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    Also, Vegemite and Guava Jelly – no way, that is never going to work!  Try a thin smear of Vegemite topped with a piece of cheese and melt under the griller. :-)

    Reply
    • December 22, 2014 at 5:31 am
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      Sharee,

      Yeah, but if you put even just a thin smear of Vegemite on toast, while being super-soaked with butter, doesn’t that essentially NEGATE the idea of even using Vegemite? It’s like, why? If it’s that bad that you have to drown out its flavor, you’re totally defeating the purpose.

      And I’m sorry, but your suggestion of putting even a thin smear of Vegemite on bread, topped with a piece of cheese and grilled sounds especially GROSS! The Guava Jelly was a WAY BETTER IDEA!

      Reply
  • July 28, 2016 at 2:50 pm
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    There’s no point in trashing a product if you haven’t eaten it correctly.  Who would love rice or pasta if they just shoved handfuls of the stuff into their face?

     

    It should be eaten on bread, toast or crackers WITH BUTTER and the merest schmear of Vegemite, which in fact has a lot less salt in that schmear, than many sweet foods.  So quit

    whining, man up and eat it right!

    Reply

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