Saturday, February 19, 2005

Marmite on Toast

IMBB 12: is my blog taboo?

The reactions of a a Frenchman to Marmite and other stories...

One of my favourite snacks in the whole world is a nice piece of toast and some delicious, fresh butter (European-style, of course,) topped with a thin spread of Marmite.

Marmite leaves you little room for a middle ground - you either love it or you hate it.

Magnified Marmite, yum, Click to Enlarge.

Some Marmite Notes:

Apart from the fact that it tastes so marMighty fine, Marmite has one of the cleverest advertising campaigns I have ever seen. They completely play off of the fact that half of Britain despises the stuff as ferverently as the remainder adore it. Check out their totally brilliant website which is as much fun for the haters as it is for the lovers. Yes, the Marmite haters get their own separate hellish web pages, complete with suggestions for sandwiches equally as horrific as those made with Marmite, including a Musty offal stew with emmental cheese and a Battered bogey bap.

Massive close up of Marmite, click to enlarge

This morning, shortly before Fred arose, I enjoyed a nice cup of tea and a slice of toast and Marmite for my breakfast. About ten minutes later he surfaced and came down the stairs. He greeted me with a kiss on the lips. At once his nose started twitching and he started sniffing. "Bleh", he muttered, "You've been eating that stuff again". I asked him if he'd like me to make him some. "No! C'mon... I hate that stuff. You know. You still ask me why? Because it's awful. Euuwyeuch!"

So, I failed. I tried twice, today, to persuade Fred to try some Marmite. Combined with all the other times I've tried to trick him into trying the stuff since we met nearly two years ago, I don't think it's ever going to happen.

Some of My Own personal Marmite facts, figures and tips:

-I used to be a Marmite Baby.
-My desk at work is decorated with all the empty marmite jars I have amassed whilst living in the US (over 4 years).
-I got my eloquent description of Marmite published last year in a a BBC news report about English icons.
"Ex-pat Sam Breach, living in San Francisco, nominated Marmite and said: "Apart from all the ex-pats scattered around the world who hoard stockpiles of this delicious, dark, gloopy, salty spread in their foreign kitchens, this uniquely-shaped, yellow-lidded little jar full of savoury goodness is something only the English truly take to their hearts."
-Marmite should be spread very thinly. No wonder the French don't like it, if they think it's meant to be spread like Nutella.
-I once worked in Sweden for a while. I made a large plate of Marmite sandwiches for all my office mates there. They all absolutely LOVED Marmite. There wasn't one sandwich left. Ever since, I have always loved the Swedes. What a discerning bunch of people and what great taste they have!
-One of my favourite TV Ads of all time featured a first-date kiss that ended in disaster because one of the couple had eaten some Marmite shortly before the very brief snog.
Marmite on Toast


  • At 19/2/05 19:24, Blogger Niki said…

    Love it! Well, I love your entry but I don't love Marmite so much...because I'm a Vegemite girl! Marmite to us Aussies is a bit too sweet, if you can believe it! I actually wrote about Vegemite Risotto in my entry.
    It's funny, of the 3 entries I've seen so far for this IMBB, all have invovled Marmite or Vegemite! Alberto at Il Forno needs a lesson in proper quantities of Marmite to butter, though. No wonder he hated it; he spread it like jam! Eeeughh!!

  • At 19/2/05 19:31, Blogger Sam said…

    Well, you know i don't like vegemite cos it's so brown and hard, whilst marmite is darker and glossy and gloopy.
    I am off to check out Alberto now.
    That's the trouble - the spreading technique is so important. A whisker too much and you've blown it!

  • At 19/2/05 19:51, Blogger pearl said…

    well, i've never had marmite, but i love everything british and go to london as often as i can, so i'm sure i'd be a fan. however, my friend jason, well, my favorite bartender who in turn says i'm his favorite barista, often comes at seven a.m. to have his coffee or tea and toast, but brings his own marmite. funny, he's so generous in every way, shares everything and always gives me a deal on my drinks, but NEVER ONCE has offered me a bit of marmite. i'll have to look into that, selfish bugger.

  • At 21/2/05 02:38, Blogger Niki said…

    Yeah, Vegemite does rather resemble road tar, doesn't it?
    Did you know that, because Australia's beer consumption has fallen, Kraft is having more trouble sourcing the leftover brewers years that it requires to make Vegemite? Hard to believe when you think about Australia, isn't it?

  • At 21/2/05 17:23, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    ewwwwwhh. I really tried to like "marmite on toast" when I was on holiday in AUS. But I couldn't do it. I have some Aussie pals who think peanut butter is equally unfit to eat!


  • At 21/2/05 18:23, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh, I'm not English enough... the massive close up looks delicious though!

  • At 22/2/05 11:56, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I grew up in South Africa, and am a Bovril fan. There's no better effortless breakfast or snack than a piece of wholewheat toast with good melted butter, topped with a thin layer of Bovril. Also good with a slice of cheddar cheese. On a recent vacation to South Africa, I turned my boyfriend onto the stuff. Sadly, we just finished the jar, and not being able to find it here, we resorted to Marmite, our 2nd choice when we found some at Cost Plus yesterday....

    But seriously, every other person I have ever introduced to Marmite or Bovril has been repulsed by it...

  • At 24/2/05 00:14, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    For school lunch in Australia my mother made our sandwiches spread with vegemite and added chopped walnuts on wholemeal bread. A great combination.

  • At 24/2/05 09:46, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm a latecomer to your blog but would like to say what an excellent blog it is! Growing up, our family used to use Maggi seasoning sauce on everything (it's very common in SE Asian households)and my mother and I used to eat it on bread with butter. It wasn't until a roommate introduced me to Marmite that I realized Maggi is essentially liquid Marmite. Go figure.

  • At 1/3/05 05:59, Blogger celia kusinera said…

    Sorry Sam, I love a lot Brit things but Marmite is definitely not one of them. Bleechhh! My husband and youngest kid on the other hand adores them. :)

  • At 6/8/05 15:22, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    ::laughing:: I was hoping to say this in more privacy but I couldn't find email for you! ::covers mouth to muffle sound so no one else will here:: Sorry for blowing the beer thing, sprouts are my daughter's fav veggie, I make 'em every Thanksgiving and Christmas even though I know she won't be here.

    ABOUT being Vegan, are you still vegan? Did you look into the possibility of nut proteins? We where on a modified eating schedule (alternated weeks of vegan, vegetarian, meat). We did this for a couple years. The main purpose was Mike's cholesterol situation. HORRIBLE! Some of the great side effects were that he lost about 20lbs right off the bat and that we created a more balanced diet. We don't adhere so rigidly but vegan and vegetarian meals are commonplace.

  • At 13/10/05 10:40, Anonymous Anonymous said…


  • At 1/12/05 13:20, Blogger ZaZa said…

    This is a very late comment. I got here from your photo don'ts post and had to add my adoration.

    I love Marmite! Although, I'm a California girl, born and bred, I was first introduced to it by Brit friends, who knew how it should be spread. ;+)

    Marmite on toast with tea, MMMMM. And, since it's already lunch time and I haven't eaten yet, I guess that's going to be my lunch, with some nice, creamy scrambled eggs. Love it.

  • At 6/12/05 14:42, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I grew up in wartime England but have lived the last 39 years in Australia. Occasionally parents would bring Marmite when they visited - Yeaay! Now my 2 girls live in London, and after 12 years one of them sent me one Kg of Marmite - yeaay!
    The Aussie version made by Sanitarium is not the same as the British version, different formula I think. Vegemite has a stronger yeast flavour - that is why they use so much salt - to cover its taste!
    I lived for 7 years in SE Asia and found Marmite in the small shops and jungle towns there. There, they use it for flavouring plain boiled rice!
    If any Aussies in UK or SE Asia can get me Marmite, I'd gladly swap it for TimTams!

  • At 6/1/06 17:46, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Marmite, I dig it!

  • At 19/10/06 21:37, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Do you know where I can find Marmite or Vegemite in San Diego? Respond to

  • At 23/10/06 15:44, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    OMG! I love Marmite / Vegemite! I grew up in Nor-Cali but my friends across the road's parens were from Scotland & Australia - the best sandwich ever is cracked wheat w/butter, marmite/vegemite & a bit of cheddar & tomato broiled open-faced...Yum!

  • At 10/6/08 12:30, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I live in Berkeley. Does anyone know where I can find Marmite in the East Bay? I'll settle for Vegemite (or as call it, "Marmite Lite").

  • At 10/6/08 15:14, Blogger Sam said…

    Hi Jason - I am not 100% certain - but I think you may even be able to get it in some Safeways?

  • At 5/12/08 08:48, Blogger stjohnny5 said…

    Please where can I find Vegimite in San Diego!!!! ANYONE!!!

  • At 18/9/09 22:51, Blogger jubjubz said…

    Marmite on fresh white bread and lettuce brings back memories from school as well as Marmite and chicken chippie sandwiches yummo!!

  • At 20/11/09 11:09, Blogger Unknown said…

    You can get Marmite, Vegemite and Bovril at Shakespeares Corner Shoppe in Mission Hills on India Street, there tel no. is 619 683 2748. Hope this helps.

    Huge Marmite Fan


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