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Marmite [moved from Quebec board]

I checked out the website (marmite.com) out if curiosity.. I first thought it was something like Nutella! lol
The ingredient list is rather surprising... can anyone elaborate on what it tastes like?
* Yeast Extract
* Salt
* Vegetable Extract
* Niacin
* Thiamin
* Spice Extracts
* Riboflavin
* Folic Acid
* Celery Extract
* Vitamin B12

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  1. Not to put too fine a point on it, kaka. IMHO, of course. Obviously not everyone agrees with that assessment. All of which is to say that you probably shouldn't buy a big jar until you've had the opportunity to decide for yourself..

    1. No no no! Marmite is amazing and don't let anyone tell you otherwise!

      Okay fine - it's a little weird. I'm English though - so I've been eating it since I was a wee boy. But I can see why people don't like it. In fact - one of their advertising campaigns was ''Marmite - you either love it or you hate it.".

      It looks kind of like treacle - thick, goopy black syrup. But it has a very deep salty flavour. The Japanese would say it is very umami, which is the descriptive word meaning savoriness. Think beef stock or French onion soup. It's kind of hard to explain the flavour. Just go ahead and try it.

      By the way you spread it VERY thinly on hot buttered toast. Spread it like you would nutella and you'lll either hate it or you'll HATE it.

      7 Replies
      1. re: NickMontreal

        Funny that. Of the people I know who like Marmite/Vegemite, about 95% first ate it as a child. And of the people I know who hate it, about the same percentage didn't encounter it until they were adults. My first taste occurred when I was in my 20s and I've never really quite recovered.

        1. re: carswell

          That is interesting! Perhaps a love for Marmite is one of those things you have to catch while young to be in the clear. Like chicken pox.

          1. re: carswell

            I had it for the first time when I was about 18 and I loved it immediately. I always think of anchovies when I eat it even though it doesn't have a fishy taste, IMO.

            Hadn't had in a long time but I bought a little jar at World Market recently and have been enjoying it on buttered toast.


            1. re: tcamp

              How interesting that you compare it to anchovies, since I just read that anchovies are another "umami" food, loaded with naturally occurring glutamates. I may have to give a teeny, tiny bit of Marmite a try sometime, when I'm feeling brave.

            2. re: carswell

              I find this is often the case for peanut butter, Carswell. Anyone I know who had an English mother didn't eat pb s'wiches growing up and they don't like it as adults. Purely anecdotal, and of course, there are likely millions of exceptions.

              1. re: cinnamon girl

                I agree with you there - English here, can't stand the stuff and my kids won't eat it either

                1. re: smartie

                  for me, both PB and Marmite are great additions to soups.
                  I use PB when making West African peanut stew.
                  I use Marmite instead of soup cubes to get a great "umami" flavour.

                  I am OK with eating either spread on bread / toast, but they are not my first favourites.

          2. Its lovely when spread on hot buttered toast thinly Operative word being thinly as too much is too intense a flavour for most. Thoough I will admit to being a bit heavy handed on it nowadays. That being sadi, it is an acquired taste and you will either love it or hate it as the company themselves admit but then there is nothing better than toast with butter and marmite to go with a cuppa tea or coffee.

            just buy the smallest jar you can find.

            Enjoy your experience if you do decide to try it.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Razzmut

              But even if a person didn't like it on it's own, would it not be good to put in things you were cooking? Is it used like that?

              Oops . . . sorry - I should read all the posts first. Smartie answered this question.

            2. as others say it's hard to describe it is a salty aromatic condiment for toast or bread and butter but a dollop is also good in soups or stews. It tastes a little bit like Miso. Spread very thinly or it will be too overpowering. I am also English so am used to it.

              1. With the deepest respect to the ones who adore this product, Marmite is the result and remains from breweries. It is the remaining sludge that is not fit for animal consumption. I personally rate the product along the lines of balut in tastiness.

                There was a version of Marmite made from the sludge of Guiness that was a bit more palatable.

                For those that vehemently disagree with me on this, I ask how you would rate the venerable Vegemite.

                1 Reply
                1. re: DallasDude

                  Vegemite is Marmite without the kick

                2. Yes, I know Marmite is as British as, erm ,erm, some other stuff and that it's therefore treasonable not to like it. But I don't. Should have been consigned to the dustbin at the same time as we consigned the Empire.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Harters

                    I first encountered it hanging out with English people abroad when I was in my 30's. I loved it immediately. There are some things I love, like, oh let's say, ripe, juicy, South Carolina peaches in the summer - that when another person says they don't like them, I immediately think they are nuts and realize that we can never be friends. (I'm exaggerating, but you know what I mean...) There are other foods, like anchovies and Marmite, that I love, but if someone says they can't stand them, I completely get it. I can easily picture hating the taste of Marmite even though I adore it. As others have said, it must be spread very, VERY thinly on hot toast or a bagel - start out with 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon per slice of toast. I usually have it just like that, but, flavor-wise, it is greatly improved by using a little butter. Who am I kidding? Make that a lot of butter! While I love sweets, I can't stand anything sweet in the morning. I think that is another reason I find Marmite sublime at breakfast time. My mouth is watering thinking about it!

                    1. re: woodleyparkhound

                      despite now knowing this is beer gunk, it's interesting to read about the various reactions to the stuff !! I'd like to try it just to see for myself what it tastes like. Perhaps if I can find a small jar... :)

                      1. re: Chocolatine

                        even a small jar lasts for months!

                        1. re: smartie

                          Anything to do with beer is good ;-)

                          I too grew up on this as a child and youth. Love it! My Mom used to mix it in with the butter to cut the strong saltiness and even out the flavor. It was smooth going on the hot toast and yummy going down. I admit I gave it to some Canadian friends, they almost gagged and ever since have accused me of trying to poisen them. We laugh about it every time the word Marmite comes up.

                          I never ever thought of using it to cook with though, until now! I'm thinking that this could replace other savory's or yeasts in certain recipes. I'm going to experiment and revisit my childhood in the kitchen.

                  2. I once went on a beer brewery tour (I hate beer) and they said they sold the waste gunk to the Marmite people.
                    Marmite is yummy. If you like anchovies you'll like marmite. Unless you don't.
                    It is sort of the vegetarian version of Gentleman's Relish.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Peg

                      This waste gunk aspect, which I didn't know, just makes me like Marmite all the more! Not only is it uniquely tasty, it *needs* using up lest we pollute landfills, waste water, whatever. Circle of life and all.

                      1. re: Peg

                        That's a good taste analogy - although I quite like Gentlemans Relish.

                      2. Marmite - Food of the Gods, and yes I am a Brit and yes I did start eating it as a kid. One of only two 'British' foods that I sourced when I moved to the US (the other is Nairn's Organic Oat Cakes). It is very savoury, I love having it on toast with scrambled eggs on top.

                        1. tastes kinda like a thick, concentrated soy sauce, but instead of fermented soy beans it's fermented grains and yeast, just like beer.
                          "umami" may be a bit complex for what we're talking about here.
                          The stuff is in-your-face SALTY!

                            1. re: smartie

                              I was going to mention Twiglets. I don't like Marmite on toast, or any other way on its own, but I do like Twiglets. Too bad they're so expensive in Canada.

                            2. What is the difference between vegemite and marmite? They're usually mentioned together as if being almost interchangable. I kind of like Marmite, in fairly small doses, DH thinks it's awful.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: EWSflash

                                One of them has more malt flavor I think. I remember I bought both a few years ago to compare and didn't like the one with the more malty flavor. The ingredients are slightly different.

                                1. re: EWSflash

                                  Vegemite is Australian and lacks the punch of Marmite. It can also be spread thicker because it doesn't hurt your mouth like too much Marmite can.

                                  1. I put it in a category with haggis, something to be curious about but it should never be eaten.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. I was always told there is a meat component of some sort in marmite, so it is not for true vegetarians, while vegemite is. Not being bothered by this distinction, I haven't investigated but I've heard it repeatedly from those who care so I trust it.

                                      The brewer's yeast in marmite is purportedly helpful for augmenting the milk supply of nursing mothers (as is any form of brewer's yeast). If you're one of those what likes it, them's the way to go to punch up the, ahem, juicers (a technical term).

                                      I tasted it first in my twenties and turned out to be one of the "likers". Started with the thin-spread rx but have graduated to a crusty lot of it. All the references to miso and anchovies and umami and soup stock make sense; it's flavorful stuff. I'm not sure any hound on this board should be afraid to try the stuff: it won't bite. And you may be bitten by a love of it. Presumably if you like food and are therefore reading this, you like flavor, and have a higher-than-average chance of being one of the "likers". Odd how the stuff has this negative reputation. Honestly, it's really yummy ... among those of us with taste that is ;)

                                      BTW, I agree completely with the comment/s about understanding if you're not a "liker". It is, I'll admit, a taste reasonable minds could disagree about. But I do feel sorry for the other half.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: aliris

                                        there is no meat component and whilst it's not strictly kosher in that it's not under Rabbinical supervision it is kosher per se if you are not strict about supervision.

                                        here is what I googled.

                                        Marmite yeast extract spread has been listed in the Really Jewish Guide for some time as suitable for a Kosher diet, but with the status of 'not manufactured under Rabbinical supervision'. This listing resulted from Bestfoods UK Ltd supplying details of the manufacturing process and the ingredients used to the London Beth Din.

                                        Marmite spread is made on a dedicated plant from ingredients which would be acceptable for a Kosher diet, is of totally vegetarian origin and is approved by the Vegetarian Society.

                                        The plant has had a number of Rabbinical visits over the years in relation to the possibility of producing a fully supervised product. This has never progressed, largely because of a sticking point relating to the heating pipework which circulates around the factory.

                                        This pipework supplies indirect heating to the cooking vessels for both Marmite spread and also for Bovril drinks but the water circulating through the pipes does not come into contact with either product. It's a fully sealed system, and indeed has to be, for a variety of reasons not related to Kosher status.

                                        We have not made any alterations to the recipe for Marmite spread or the nature of the manufacturing process which might affect its Kosher status. What seems to have changed is the interpretation of the rules, resulting from an informal re-assessment by the London Beth Din of the way in which Marmite spread has always been made.

                                        In essence, the answer to the question of whether or not Marmite spread is Kosher depends on the degree of orthodoxy and adherence to the strict dietary laws governing Kosher lifestyle adopted by the individual.

                                        1. re: aliris

                                          It is not strictly veggie because it is made from waste yeast left after the beer making process. That process can use isinglass - a fish by-product. I got that info from a brewer - who said the Marmite people choose to ignore this technicallty. (Though this was about 15 years ago and they may have changed the recipe since then).

                                          1. re: Peg

                                            Wow. Thanks for all the details, Peg & Smartie. This level of purity is certainly not of concern to me but I'm sure it will be to many and posting the information is helpful!

                                            I'd rather relabel myself not-vegetarian than have to give up marmite!

                                        2. i didn't taste marmite until I was an adult but this has become a staple comfort food for me... nice firm bread toasted+thin marmite+med thin layer cream cheese+ pickled red onions &/or fennel. It's heaven. Particularly good when you are recovering from a cold. With a glass of icy ginger ale.

                                          1. Marmite tastes very umami. quite salty and sharp, but when spread on toast thinly with butter it's great. Also a good addition to beef based dishes, like lasagna.

                                            1. Marmite in the news!

                                              I just read that the makers of Marmite have come out with a new, super-concentrated version called "Marmite XO" - it's aged four times as long as normal Marmite, and is said to be four times as strong. Even though I love Marmite, I must say, I can't quite see the need for a Marmite that is four times as strong -- the regular version is quite strong enough for me!