Sunday, July 1, 2012

Happy little vegemite...

For those of you who haven't realised it yet, I should probably tell you that I'm Australian.  That's right, I'm a proud, dinky di Aussie.  I've played a didgeridoo (badly), sat on the steps of the Opera House, and I can understand Crocodile Dundee without the subtitles.

By the way, do you have any idea how hilarious we found it that they needed to put subtitles on the movie Crocodile Dundee?  His accent wasn't THAT thick!  Did you guys really need it?

But the truth is there really isn't that much of a difference between an Aussie and any other Western culture.  In fact, we're pretty much a mixture of American and British.  The one thing we have, though, that is uniquely ours is our food.

Not all of it of course, but there are a few things that define us.  Lamingtons, Tim Tams, Chiko Roll, Pavlova, they're all uniquely Australian.  But the one thing that's always defined us is, of course, Vegemite.

In case you don't know, Vegemite is a sandwich spread that's made from a yeast extract.  It's black, tar like, and incredibly salty.  I remember watching a video once where an American fellow described it as tasting like salt and pain.  A little melodramatic, certainly, but I can see where he was coming from.  It really is very salty.

We're usually given our first taste of Vegemite as soon as we're old enough to eat a piece of toast.  It's a bit of a rite of passage.  Because of this, we usually can't remember a time when we DIDN'T eat Vegemite, so there's no memory of the first time or of learning to love it.

I'm not sure how many of you have ever tried Vegemite, but let me just say ... it's an acquired taste.  I acknowledge that.  I've seen enough youtube videos of people from overseas trying it to realise that unless you were raised on it, you're probably not going to like it.  But personally, I have a hard time understanding how someone COULDN'T like it!

All through my childhood I had Vegemite sandwiches packed in my lunch.  Even now, as an adult, I eat Vegemite toast for breakfast more often than not.  I know a lot of things people overseas believe Australians do are just stereotypes, but take my word for it, eating Vegemite is something that we definitely do.  In fact, given its salt content, some might say we eat it too much.

But the reason I'm bringing it up is that I've decided to try a little experiment.  I'd like to see if Vegemite is really as offensive to people from overseas as I've always been led to believe.  In order to find out, I've decided to send some to three lucky readers (to be selected randomly from the comments to this post) so that they can try it for themselves and report back to us all on how they found it.

So if you'd like to join me in this highly scientific endeavour, leave a comment saying so.  I'll randomly select three lucky individuals and, after contacting you to get your postal address, I'll send you some Vegemite.  I'll be taking the names two days after posting and leave messages for those who  are chosen.

Then we'll see whether Vegemite is something only an Australian can love.


  1. Never let it be said that we Canadians blanche in the face of Vegemite. I'm in! The only thing I've eaten from your list of Aussie goodies are Tim Tams. They've just recently become available here. Yum!

  2. I'm in, I've eaten some strange tasting stuff in my life! Broaden my horizons!

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  4. OMG!!!! I wanna try!! Pick Me!!1 Pick me!!

  5. I am so down to try Vegemite. Ever since I heard it sung in a Men At Work song I've wondered. Hell, I had someone give me balut to try. Lucky for me, one of them cracked and I had to toss them before I got the chance to try it. But I'm totally Mikey, I'll try anything. Send it over here to me in California. I will have a friend record me trying it.

    I recently tried spam musubi (sp) 'cause Hawaiians love it. I thought it was disgusting. Blech, I hate spam.

  6. This is so funny to read this, because I was already wanting to do a Vegemite experiment, after seeing it mentioned in one of Rusty's posts. When I asked him about it, he gave some ever important tips in the comments section for trying it:

    Since then I've been looking all over for this stuff and still have yet to find it in the stores here in the United States. I know we have it, just can't figure out where. So that is why I need to be sent a jar of Vegemite! Oh, please let the gods of chance favor me for once in my life!

  7. Did you know that there is a Vegemite vs Marmite (which I love) war going on? Seriously people, why can't we all just get along! *sniff weep cry*

    As for 'tastes like salt and pain,' that is one of the best descriptions ever and made me laugh out loud.

  8. OH YEAH girl, count me in. Just like Sporkgasm I loved that line from that Men at Work song, "she just smiled and gave me a vegemite sandwich". For some reason, I always thought it was akin to peanut butter. Who knew?????

  9. It can't be any saltier than kosher gefilte fish. That made my lips pucker, lol. But I'd try some vegemite. And since that would be the closest we'd get to actually visiting Australia (the husband's dream) I know he would love it, too.

  10. Well hello mate!! I said that with a sub title and and an accent lol

  11. Ah! I always wanted to try it. If you say it's salty, I think I may love it. I am always looking for new foods I can actually eat.

  12. A word of warning: don't spread it like jam people!

    Too much will overwhelm you in the bitterness. Start small and work your way up

    You should have more butter than vegemite to start with.

    btw, good idea :)