General Question

JackAdams's avatar

No offense, but just why do Aussies love "Vegemite" so much?

Asked by JackAdams (6492points) August 27th, 2008

Here’s a link about what it is, for those who may not know:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegemite

Let me say that the Aussies are probably the friendliest folks on Earth, in many ways. And Australian cuisine is quite wonderful (I sampled it in Sydney, in 1991.)

But “Vegemite” is really BAD, and I can’t understand the “attraction” for it. Can someone explain it to me?

August 27, 2008, 9:45 PM EDT

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

31 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

@rob: how did you manage to get that picture of me and doctor it? No such dress in my closet.

robmandu's avatar

@gail, remember when I explained that Google is always watching? Well, I guess I get to say, “I told you so.” ;-)

gailcalled's avatar

@Aug; Is there nothing sacred anymore? Is there any topic not yet set to music? (Funny find.)

augustlan's avatar

Since I was a teenager in the 80s, it was actually the very first thing I thought of.

JackAdams's avatar

Love “Men At Work!” LOL

Thanks!

August 27, 2008, 11:12 PM EDT

Tantigirl's avatar

If you’re reared on vegemite, like us from the land of Oz, you don’t think twice about it. Think of it like this, in America, often the first sandwich a kid will have is peanut butter and jelly. In Oz, our first sandwich is likely to be vegemite. You know why a lot of people don’t like vegemite? I think it is because people who aren’t aussies spread it on thickly like it is jam or peanut butter. Nobody in their right mind eats it like that!!!!

sarapnsc's avatar

It’s just really good. If you are brought up on it, it tastes delicious. I guess if you weren’t brought up on it, it wouldn’t taste good.
I eat it all the time, when I use to serve it to my guest here in the US…I would sit back and watch the expression on their faces. It’s really funny. To me, I just don’t get why they don’t like it. For them, they just don’t get why I like it. I don’t serve it to my guests anymore it just gets wasted.

Indy318's avatar

@tantigirl, is it true that peanut butter is not sold in Austrialia? Maybe Vegemite is the Aussie equivalent of peanut butter, and vice versa. I guess a yeast extract by-product is more appealing to the sensing. I’ve never had but would love to try some if I can find it…

Tantigirl's avatar

No, Indy, it isn’t true, you most definitely can buy peanut butter in Australia. Do you live in America? I know a few places where you can buy it.

joeysefika's avatar

Marmite is so much better!

shrubbery's avatar

To reinforce what Tantigirl and sarapnsc have said, it’s a cultural icon. When you are brought up on it then of course it’s going to taste good to you. It’s ingrained in our lifestyle and culture. I can recognise that it is an acquired taste for those unfortunate souls who haven’t been weened into it from birth, much the same way as Americans have their peanut butter and jelly. Australians love peanut butter, and they love jam. But put them together and that would be an acquired taste for us. However, I could probably assume that it would be easier to get into PB&J than it would Vegemite. I can only say this: don’t expect to like it straight away. Don’t dip your spoon into the jar and and take a mouthful like you would with Nutella, and don’t heap it on your bread. Try a little bit at a time and don’t give up on it. For a great combination and maybe to dull down the strong flavour just a little bit try vegemite and cheese together.

JackAdams's avatar

I remember that JOHN LAWS (at Radio 2UE, Sydney) once told me (over the phone), “We don’t expect you Yanks to understand why we love it; just accept the fact that we are as fond of it, as we are our famous clothing-optional beaches, and the ladies who go to them.”

A wonderful man, John Laws. He should run for PM.

August 28, 2008, 4:26 AM EDT

Indy318's avatar

@tantigirl, thank you for the correction (one of my sisters’ friends was traveling to Aust. and insisted on taking peanut butter because she heard you can’t find it there).

Well, I live in the US—down by the Jersey Shore. I have never heard if Vegemite, nor have I seen it at the supermarket. Most likely it is sold in specialty stores but I’m sure theres one around here.

JackAdams's avatar

I have seen Vegemite sold in “regular” grocery stores.

It is sometimes in the “foreign foods” section, but a few times, I have seen it placed among the jams and jellies.

The first time I tried it, I spread it on some toast as if it were a “jam,” and my OZ hosts stared at me, like I was crazy, because I used way too much, according to them.

August 28, 2008, 2:39 PM EDT

gailcalled's avatar

Repeat link from Bovril question.

Check out Marmite and Vegemite….all adding to the oxymoron of British haute cuisine.

More info at this aptly named site; http://www.britishdelights.com/marmite.asp

(Sample of the prose; “MARMITE has a distinctive savory taste, unlike anything else.”
And: “Vegemite: rumor has it that one 4 oz jar is worth over 100 servings.”)

Tantigirl's avatar

@joeysefika – Marmite is better than Vegemite? Surely you jest!!!!

Tantigirl's avatar

@Indy318 – Yes, you will find it in specialty stores. There are a couple of Aussie stores, the one where I get my stuff is in Washington State, they have a great online store, called Simply Australian. You’ll also find that most british stores over here in America stock Vegemite too. In fact the store that Gail posted the link to, British Delights, definitely has it, they are just up the road from me.

tupara's avatar

The perfect sandwich? vegemite, cheese and… anything. Marmite has added sugar so just doesn’t cut it in my book. I read somwhere that vegemite is technically illegal in the US because it has added folate

Tantigirl's avatar

I’m not so sure about that tupara. If that was true then I doubt that the specialty stores would be allowed to bring it in.

joeysefika's avatar

@Tantigirl, No, no not at all, marmite is better and i stand by it! as a New Zealander living in Australia there’s been to much pressure to change, haha

sarapnsc's avatar

Vegemite is not illegal in the United States… it won’t be on grocery store shevles, but speciality stores do carry it.
It’s a myth and got started back in 2006 I think. A newspaper in Australia reported it, it came out later that it wasn’t true.
But, I know for a fact it isn’t banned in the USA. The folate acid in Vegemite is so little that it wouldn’t hurt anyone. In fact, it was reported cereals have more folate acid in them than Vegemite.

JackAdams's avatar

When I lived in the Western USA, it was on store shelves at ALBERTSON’S.

August 28, 2008, 7:50 PM EDT

Tantigirl's avatar

@joeysefika – you are a sick, sick person!!! lol I guess it is true that there is no accounting for taste!!

Tantigirl's avatar

@sarapnsc – That’s right, if it was illegal I wouldn’t be able to get my fix on a regular basis.

joeysefika's avatar

@Tantigirl as usual the Aussies are deluded like their hopes of winning the tri-nations

tupara's avatar

(Note that I used the word ‘technically’) On a lighter note, if your’e in need of cheap entertainment, then putting a dab of vegemite on your cat’s nose will keep you both amused for ages.

LuckVIII's avatar

Grew up in vegimite. It made by Kraft. Most everyone in America assume you eat straight like peanut butter which isn’t right. You first butter your bread then spread vegimite. Yummy had to talk to my hair dresser to get me a large bottle of it.

gailcalled's avatar

@LuckVIII: Growing up in vegimite(sic) does sound extremely uncomfortable.

@tupara; Is there any substitute for vegemite re; the cat?

Kat555's avatar

Just like others like their Marmite and peanut butter.

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