Dan’s idea for Marmite

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One of my lovely memories whilst visiting my mother in law in England, was getting a lovely breakfast: a toast buttered and spread with a thin layer of a thick brown spread called Marmite and a boiled egg sliced on top, it made me a forever fan of “Marmite”. This was long before I realized that for me, as a veggie, Marmite is the best B12 provider possible, super food for veggies/ vegans. But then I met Dan and his idea to use Marmite combining it with another food spread I adore…

Recently we had our “fun” English family over and they brought a lovely friend along “Dan”, who gave Marmite a new purpose in my life. As a veggie I love peanut butter and Marmite and he proved to me that the combination of both, for Marmite lovers that is, tastes heavenly.

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Just look at our friend Dan’s demonstration, a piece of bread, a layer of butter (which mellows the flavour just slightly), a thin layer of Marmite

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and on top a layer of peanut butter…

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I’m hooked forever now, thanks ever so much Dan for providing my figure a heavenly dish alas with extra calories (the peanut butter not the Marmite as that is low in calories) when I’m trying to lose weight…

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For those of you that don’t know Marmite, its name comes from the name of a French casserole dish “une marmite”, as you can see on the red and yellow label on the jar. Sold initially in small ceramic jars that resembled the French casserole dish the” marmite”, it is now sold in glass jars, mimicking the original ceramic ones in shape.

Marmite’s advert is “you either like it or hate it” and that is so true, based on its overwhelming flavour. Whether you spread it in a thin layer on a sandwich/toast or crackers, or marinate meat in it, add it to soups or sauces, pair it with cheese, you’ll be adding a nutritious, savoury element to your food.

This concentrated brewer’s yeast (yes, that is what it is), with added salt, spices and celery (folic acid, vitamin B12, thiamin and riboflavin were added in high concentrations later on) has a remarkable high nutritional value. Yeast extract is inexpensive and a natural source of B-vitamins. It doesn’t contain fat, added sugar or animal content, is gluten free and for my daughter’s friend Wafae, the Halal Certification Authority of Australia has certified Marmite as a Halal product!

Invented by accident by the late 19th century German scientist Justus Liebig, it found its way to Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, as the local brewers could provide the raw material: the concentrated yeast sludge, originally thrown away as useless, a byproduct of the beer brewing process (the brand being acquired by Unilever in 2000). And that is what its pungent taste reminds me of: a Liebig Oxo drink when I was young: salty, malty, soy “sauce-esque”- flavor, similar to beef bouillon.

Soldiers had it in their ration packs during both world wars and even in 1999, troops got it in Kosovo.

It is said it could be used to treat anaemia, helps pregnant women get over morning sickness, even makes an effective mosquito repellent… Because of the high doses of niacin (vitamin B3) it will help your body against a staphylococcus bacteria attack, increasing your immune system by up to 1 000 times… Be gone antibiotic-resistant super bugs, such as MRSA, says Marmite. It’s incredibly useful for older people who are short in vitamin B-12. This savoury product is an excellent dietary supplement, labelled by scientists as the latest “superfood”!

One serving can easily contain up to 36 percent of your recommended daily allowance of vitamin B3, it also provides 50 percent of your folic acid, 17 per cent of your thiamin – a substance that helps to protect your nervous system and 40% of the recommended daily allowance for Vitamin B-12.  It also contains iodine, which helps to speed up the absorption of iron.

It even has inspired a cookbook for itself (Paul Hartley). Marmite can be stored at room temperature and won’t decompose, even after years, it can dry out though.

Seen as uniquely British, you’ll find Marmite also called “Vegemite” in Australia and New Zealand, but their version added caramel and sugar to make it more tasteful and less potent.

Give it a try and let me know whether you love it or hate it, it is considered an acquired-taste, but then again so are oysters, is caviar and wine…

Loving it!

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