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For the Love of Marmite
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For the Love of Marmite

You either love it, or hate it. There's no in between. Marmite is definitely an acquired taste. Growing up in a typical American household with a British mother, the two of us were the only ones that ate it. Most Americans take one whiff of the stuff and want to gag.

Marmite is a staple in most British households. I can't imagine not having a jar of it in my pantry. It really isn't that difficult to find. Many of my local big chain grocery stores carry it, either in the import aisle, or the aisle where you find yeast. What is Marmite? It's a black, thick, not really eye appealing yeast extract spread that's 100% vegetarian (per the label, but is actually vegan by all accounts) and rich in B vitamins. I'm sure there are many uses for it, such as in stews, but I have always had it simply spread thinly on a piece of hot, buttered toast.

The key word there is thinly. You do not want to spread it like jam. Trust me. That may be the first mistake Americans make.  For this reason, a jar of Marmite can last an awfully long time. Way past the 'Best Before' date. Marmite never really spoils. It just may get a bit thicker. My last jar which I just emptied had a use by date of 2009. Oh, well.  Opening my brand new jar a few weeks ago was exciting. Not Christmas morning exciting, but still exciting.  Ah, this was exactly what I need for a quick pick me up.

Marmite is the perfect cure-all when you're under the weather. I'm around children all day who don't always remember to cough into their elbows. When I have the flu nothing but one thing appeals to me. Nothing... nothing is more soothing than a cup of steaming hot tea and a hot, buttered piece of toast spread thinly with Marmite. Check our their Facebook page and you'll see I'm not their only fan by a long shot!

 

 

*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.

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After my tonsillectomy at age four, my doctor jokingly said, "No more hamburgers for you, Libby." Little did he know he was right! While I did eat meat on and off until college, I was lucky to have parents that supported my values. I am a teacher by trade with a passion for baking. While eggs and cheese (and chocolate, of course)are my mainstay in my diet, I am enjoying the challenge of proving that dairy-free baking can be delicious.

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  1. Carolyn
    Carolyn
    Libby, never heard of marmite, but will have to look for it at the grocery store. I definitely believe that "B" vitamins are important! Voted!
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    1. LibbyTreats
      LibbyTreats
      It's a small jar, but really does last a really, really long time. It's about $6.50. Cheapest place in the US is World Market (Cost Plus). Thanks for reading and voting!
      Log in to reply.
      1. Carolyn
        Carolyn
        Okay, we have a World Market in Montgomery, Alabama, about an hours drive from here.
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  2. Virtually Homemade
    Virtually Homemade
    I had a friend from Australia who lived for Marmite! I have never tasted but I am intrigued:) Voted! Check out my recipe for Texas Caviar and please vote :)
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    1. LibbyTreats
      LibbyTreats
      I love Texas Caviar. Will vote, and will have to compare yours to mine. In Oz they have a product similiar to Marmite called Vegemite. (You might remember hearing about it if you were a fan of Men at Work in the 80s.)
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  3. HannahCurious
    HannahCurious
    Marmite is something you either love or hate - it's impossible to just like it! Definitely a UK thing though, and I cannot imagine America ever falling in love with it. It's too bold, too pungent... Good point about spreading it very thinly, especially for those who are trying it for the first time. It's a B vitamins powerhouse, which is a lot more fun than swallowing a pill every day. Here in Seattle, our local Fred Meyer's (part of Krogers) sells Marmite in the baking supplies aisle. It's not at eye level, so you might have to look for it. I know World Market also carries it. Curiously, I don't remember ever seeing it elsewhere. Definitely for adventurous taste buds with a love of all things savory, otherwise one sniff and you'll run. My mate Marmite... LOL :-)
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    1. LibbyTreats
      LibbyTreats
      LOL alright. I did mention in a reply here that World Market is the best place to get it. I had to ask at Whole Foods and no one could find it, then I spotted it on a low shelf below the Yeast packages.
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  4. dvonco
    Is it like Vegemite?
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    1. LibbyTreats
      LibbyTreats
      exactly like vegemite. England vs. Australia.
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    2. HannahCurious
      HannahCurious
      @dvonco: No. Marmite is runnier than Vegemite and tastes quite different. Vegemite reminds me of hardened grease, and the consistency puts me off. People generally like one thing or the other. Nutritionwise, they're similar though. @LibbyTreats: where the product is displayed is part of the problem! Stores read "yeast" and assume it is a baking product, which it isn't. In the UK, it is on the same shelf as spreads, nut butters and jams. Still, I was overjoyed at finding it over here in Washington State!
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      1. Veganara
        Veganara
        Vote no 4, as I am British, and I love Marmite, like so many people over here! It does have a strong flavour, so it is not to everyone's taste, and, as you say, you must only spread it very thinly, otherwise it is revolting! If you like chocolate and baking, check out my Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes recipe, and if you like it , please vote!
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  5. SnakeWitch
    I've had the chance to sample this during my travels in 2009. I met several Brits and Aussis who eat the stuff like it was peanut butter and absolutely could not live even a day without it. Since it's so easy to pack, they all had at least one jar with them! And of course, when I told them I'm vegan, they offered it with the very same warnings. Voted! Come check out my article on B12 - and vote please! I can't believe I forgot that Marmite is a good source of that vitamin.
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  6. Conchita
    Hi, I was born and raised in London so I also grew up with Marmite and the thought of being without it just about does me in. I've only been Vegan for just over a year now. I'm curious about a couple of things you mention in your article. You say you have Marmite with your bread buttered ???? But I'm guessing you mean vegetable margarine right? I too have wondered why the packaging of Marmite says vegetarian & not vegan, but then I found out it belongs to UNILEVER, giants in cruel animal testing. Could that be the reason? If I'm mistaken and this isn't a Vegan blog please forgive my mistake. It's looks like everything is geared around the vegan way of life. I look forward to reading your comments, thank you so much ????
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