What  

PillsburyCodeBoy 60M
479 posts
6/29/2005 7:40 am

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

What

I wish all questions were this easy for me to answer:

Vegemite.

I’m about ready to claim my official title as The Only Non-Australian Who Likes Vegemite.

I first heard of Vegemite from the Men at Work song that was popular in the 1980s, the one with the line that goes, “He just smiled and gave me a Vegemite sandwich.” After that, whenever I met someone who’d been to Australia, I always asked if they’d tried Vegemite. And I always got a curl of the lips and a wrinkle of the nose and a comment like “Vile!” or “Disgusting!” or “The worst stuff I’ve ever tasted!”

Sounded like a challenge to me.

A couple of years ago, at an Australia-themed shop in San Antonio (across from the Alamo, of all places!), I picked up some single-serving containers of Vegemite, like the kind jelly comes in at a restaurant. So I tried it.

And I liked it.

I’m not sure how well I can describe Vegemite, but here goes. It’s the color of used motor oil. It’s the consistency of peanut butter. It smells like a freshly opened jar of multivitamins. It tastes very salty, and a little goes a long way.

But what is it, and why would anyone eat it? The label says “Concentrated Autolyzed Yeast Extract,” which isn’t very helpful. It’s a mixture of brewer’s yeast extract (something left over from brewing beer), vegetables, and spices. It’s supposed to have a very high concentration of B vitamins. As for the taste, if you like it, you like it. If you don’t, you don’t. There’s no middle ground.

I usually have some in the morning, spread on a piece of whole grain bread, before or after I go out riding my bike. I’ve talked people into trying it, and their reactions are priceless. I don’t have a cruel streak, honestly I don’t. But when someone says, “Mmmm, chocolate!” and bites down ... friends, if you bite into this stuff thinking it’s chocolate, I guarantee you’re in for possibly the most unpleasant surprise you’ll ever have that involves putting food in your mouth. (On the other hand, I’ve used it as a marinade ingredient and given it to people that way, and they’ve liked it, even after I told them what it was. I’m not sure what that means.)

People tell me if I’ll eat Vegemite, I’ll eat anything. They may be right.

Do you have a Vegemite story? Or a food-you-thought-you’d-hate-but-now-love story?


berrigal2 60F

6/29/2005 11:49 am

LOL, I used to belong to a chat group. Most of the members were Aussie. I knew this one gal that CRAVED the stuff. The rest of the group would go EWWWWW whenever she mentioned it. Thanks for bringing that memory to mind today PBC.

You have made my tastebuds curious now. I will HAVE to try it.

Perhaps it could become the next food fad to take the world by storm. We could buy stockpiles of the stuff, sell it on late night TV and make a fortune! Tell everyone its an aphrodisiac that has to be smeared onto the body to be effective.

The food I thought I would hate but now love was mushrooms. I couldn't stand looking at them as a child. They looked slimy to me when cooked and poison when fresh..LOL
I ate my first one on a pizza and after that it was LOOK OUT MUSHROOMS, here comes Berri! I love them now and add them to every meal!


rm_txrose4uNTX 57F
3289 posts
6/29/2005 11:53 am

lipator has mentioned this to me. He is a relocated / displaced Australian and mentioned that this was some good wholesome stuff... but, I didn't see that it was in the grocerie stores. Had no idea it was in my hometown - San Antonio!! How could I have ever imagined. Next trip to SA... pick up a small jar of vegemite to try!!! lol...

Unless, I can find it up here in the Austin area!!!

TxRose


rm_beaujelais 59F

6/29/2005 5:16 pm

I have recently found out how much I like cooked greens ... collards, mustard and turnip greens. Hated them until a few months ago and now I can cook 'em up!

Recently I was discussing survival training with a new friend and the discussion of bugs came up. I said that I would never eat a bug. He said that they were good ... just pull their legs off and pop then into your mouth. Okay, at this point I had to have a seat. Then he told me that grub worms were delicious! Then I had to put my head between my knees to keep from passing out. Can you imagine?? He said that when one gets to that point, your instinct for survival kicks in and over rides your squeemishness. Thank God I can live off my natural reserves for a while ....

Hmmmmmm ... you might have a point there Berrigal, I might eat a bug off someone's body .... lol


PillsburyCodeBoy 60M

6/29/2005 5:55 pm

TxRose, try Whole Foods Market. That's where I get it in Dallas and Plano. But beware: even the clerks make funny faces when I buy it. But they still take my money!


PillsburyCodeBoy 60M

6/29/2005 7:13 pm

Berri, your chat room experience just convinces me even more that I deserve that title!

The aphrodesiac properties of Vegemite ... I like it! But do we know for sure that it works? I feel another challenge coming on!

And good for you for learning to like mushrooms! They're a great addition to a healthy diet (excuse me, lifestyle change).


PillsburyCodeBoy 60M

6/30/2005 5:38 am

Beaujelais, you've discovered the one food I don't like. No, not bugs ... cooked greens! My parents eat those. I can't get past the sight of them. I think they look like boiled grass clippings. I guess I'll have to give them another try. Maybe if I mixed in a dab of Vegemite ...


rm_beaujelais 59F

6/30/2005 5:51 pm

Maybe you just need to learn how to cook them?


PillsburyCodeBoy 60M

7/1/2005 6:59 am

I don't guess you can cook greens on a grill, can you? If not, that leaves either the microwave or putting them between two slices of bread. Is there a fourth way to cook?


CruelKitty 45F
90 posts
7/2/2005 3:22 pm

I've always wondered what it was.
My vegemite, i guess is Salt and Vinegar potato chips. A guy once told me that he could always tell if a girl gave head by what she put in her mouth. If he sees a girl eating Salt & Vinegar potato chips, he always approaches her.


Masseur_0 41M

7/7/2005 5:08 pm

"If he sees a girl eating Salt & Vinegar potato chips, he always approaches her. "

that is the funniest thing I've read all day...thank you...But to dash your theory, my ex-wife always ate salt and vinegar chips...i rest my case.

Anyway, I was in Australia when Iw as a Jr. in High school and experience that which was Veggi-mite. Yes, someone at a brewery thought of a way to sell off all the yeast extract from their brwing process, genius.
I could never get the stuff down. A funny story though, my host mom ( I mean mum) was packing lunches for host dad and I and mixed up the sandwiches. I got to school, went to lunch and opened a Veggi-mite and cheese sandwich. Boy was I disappointed...Later host dad got home and I asked him how he liked his lunch which he aswered "bloody Yank food!! Peanut Butter and Jam !! How do you do it ?!"...

Oh but then I got back to the states and was on a touring circut of the elementary classes dicsribing my travels. Of course I had several packets of veggi-death anad asked if any 4th grader would like to try Aussie cuisine...You know all the guys had to try, even after I told them of the horrors in the little packets...Man, I didn't think kids could get that much water from the drinking fountain, they were tag teaming that fountain...My job here is done...


PillsburyCodeBoy 60M

7/8/2005 7:18 am

What does it mean that I also like salt and vinegar potato chips??!! I really don't want to think about it.


PillsburyCodeBoy 60M

7/8/2005 7:25 am

Masseur_0, the quote from the host dad about "bloody Yank food" was just too hilarious! And as the dad of a just-graduated fourth grader, I can easily picture that rush to the water fountain!

I've had friends tell me that in their world travels, they've often encountered the same reactions to peanut butter that most of us here have to Vegemite. I don't get that at all.

Speaking of Vegemite, I'm almost out. Luckily I'll be going somewhere this weekend where I can get more.


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