Apr 13

A Yank’s Perspective On Marmite

British Marmite

Jar of Marmite

Marmite, Butter on Sourdough Bread

Toasted Sourdough Bread with Butter and Marmite

If one is to believe all that is written on Marmite, there four groups of people. Those that love it, hate it, dismiss it without trying it and those that have never heard of Marmite. My own evolution went from never heard of it, dismissed it without trying and then love it.

For us Americans we may have heard of Marmite, but it is decidedly a very British product and embraced by most former British colonies even if if the local flavor and name are not exactly the same. I am sure the reasons for American culture to not have embraced Marmite is long, varied and disputable, but to not have tried this savory spread is to do yourself great disfavor.

What is Marmite?

The most simplest answer is used brewers yeast that has been made into a paste with vitamins, vegetable extracts and spices. The result is a pungent, treacle like spread that is insanely dark, salty and extremely savory. This characteristic flavor has been  defined as umami.

To read the official and complete history of Marmite, go to this link on their website.

I will admit that I do not recall trying Marmite until a couple of years ago. I was having breakfast with Stuart and he basically questioned my manhood for not trying Marmite. Honestly, I wonder whether or not a few years earlier if I would have enjoyed this very unique taste. I did in fact enjoy it very much with toast and butter. I enjoyed it so much that Stuart was giving the Scotsman evil eye as I slathered my toast and butter with a very American serving portion of Marmite. Marmite can be found in most grocery stores in the United States that have an international aisle, but it is relatively expensive. This however should not deter you from at least trying Marmite.

I most enjoy Marmite with a nice slice of bread toasted, typically sourdough or rye that has been buttered. I have also made a sushi roll that I named “Roll Britannia” with Marmite, Smoked Kippers and Sliced Cucumbers rolled inside the rice and seaweed paper. There are a number of Marmite recipes that I want to try, with the first being a cheese and Marmite sandwich.

I believe that the old saying “How do you know you do not like it, if you have never tried it?” best describes the question you must pose to yourself before dismissing this amazing spread from Britain.

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