How to eat Vegemite
A guide for the perplexed non-Australian.
Vegemite is, as every Australian knows, the food of the Gods. The delicious, salty black food of the Gods.
As one of the world’s richest known sources of B vitamin (especially thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and folic acid), Vegemite is mandatory consumption for Australian children, but it has untold benefits for adults, too. Vegemite on white toast is not only a staple food group for when you’re feeling sick, but it is also perhaps the only food that can safely be consumed during a hangover (after a glass of Berocca, of course).
Vegemite was the first product to be electronically scanned in an Australian store – in April 1984, a 115g jar of Vegemite priced at 66 cents was scanned in Woolworth at Chullora NSW.
I also have a strong personal connection to Vegemite: it was invented in the same year my Dad was born, 1922, and my parents actually met at the Kraft factory in Port Melbourne, where Vegemite is still manufactured today.
Plus Vegemite is made from the by-products of beer brewing – how bloody Australian is that?
It’s no wonder that Vegemite is found in 90 percent of Australian homes.
Sadly, though, the rest of the world just doesn’t seem to be able to embrace the gooey black superfood that is Vegemite. Our American friends seem particularly deaf to the charms of the Great Aussie Spread.
But I think I’ve solved the problem. Watch this video, especially from 5:29:
I think we can all see the problem here.
Americans seem to think that Vegemite is like peanut butter, consequently they slather on ridiculous amounts of it. That’s just crazy talk. You’ve probably heard of certain chemical compounds that are deadly in large doses, but in very small doses are actually good for you? Vegemite is exactly the same.
So, let’s have a look at how to eat Vegemite properly.
What do I need?
- Fresh white bread
- Butter (not margarine, not ‘I can’t believe it’s not some vile chemical concoction’)
What do I do?
You can, of course, start with the iconic Vegemite sandwich first brought to the world by Men At Work, but for the non-Australian taking their first, tentative paddle in the delicious, salty black Vegemite sea, I’d recommend Vegemite on toast. Although, once you’ve acquired the taste, there is absolutely nothing on God’s good earth like a thick slice of the freshest Vienna bread, graced with butter and Vegemite. My family has been known to consume an entire Vienna loaf in one sitting, in this way.
Lightly toast two slices of bread. You really just want the bread to be golden, not too dark, and definitely not burnt.
Spread the bread liberally with butter.
Now, load your knife with about a small amount of Vegemite. About a teaspoonful is a good amount, although the Vegemite novice might be advised to start off at the lighter end of the scale.
Scrape the Vegemite over the bread: I mean, scrape. If you’ve got enough Vegemite on your knife that you’re able to spread it, you’ve got too much. Use the photos below as a guide.
Celebrate your new-found appreciation of the wonders of Vegemite with a good cup of tea.
Here for your amusement is an iconic Australian TV commercial, I think the first one made for Vegemite: