Marmite is a magical and delicious yeasty spread. It is not the only one — copycat versions of it exist around the world — but it is the original, and it is the best. I lived in Australia for a while, where one of its competitors thrives. You know the spread that shall not be named that I speak of. It pales in comparison!
A Battle of the Yeasty Spreads
My Aussie friends tried to get me to change my mind about it by using love, persuasion, and outright threats. My friend Katie, who prides herself on being a true-blue Aussie, even challenged me to a yeast-spread-off.
Challenge accepted! I arrived at Katie's house on the morning of the challenge, my jar of Marmite in my hands. It was on.
Katie started the epic yeast-spread-off by using classic intimidation techniques; she danced around me with her Vegemite, waved it in my face, and then proceeded to war cry (it was more like a yodel, if I'm being honest) around the living room.
Not to be outdone, I used my Marmite as war paint, dabbing it on my face in stripes, trying to make myself look as threatening as possible. We roped in her roommate, Jim, as our impartial judge, and he promised to be truly unbiased.
A Serious Taste Test
We spread our respective candidates on plain bread and then offered them to Jim in turn. We then proceeded to toast the bread (with and without butter), add the spreads to noodles (like a stir-fry) and pasta (a simple white sauce with the yeast spread added in). We tested both with cheese, caramelized onions, and even baked some quick dough (she made bread and I did a Marmite naan) to see what he thought.
Jim was getting more and more twitchy as time went on; we both watched him like hawks and glared at each other from opposite ends of the kitchen. Finally, after our suggestions got more and more involved (we were wondering whether to make stews), Jim put his hands up and announced that he'd made a decision.
And the Winner Is ...
Katie and I looked at him with bated breath. Jim backed away from both of us as much as he could, as if he needed to make a quick getaway. I put my hands on my hips; Katie folded her arms. Jim backed away until he'd reached the door to the living room, which he opened before he spoke.
"The truth is, I can't tell the difference. They're both awesome," he said hurriedly and left.
Katie and I looked at each other. "You know Marmite won, right?" I asked, just as she said, "Vegemite won." We argued back and forth for a few rounds. I then suggested a beer, which she agreed to, and we both decided we'd have to try again someday, preferably with a new judge who didn't have taste buds made of ceramic. We haven't got around to it yet, but I'm sure we will.
P.S.: Marmite totally won.
Have you had them both? Which one is better?