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I found this stuff at the local market here in the US, and figured i would try it. It must be an acquired taste. It's not bad exactly, but a bit strong for me on toast (even thinly spread). What else is it used for?

Does it have any cooking uses other than as a spread? Anyone have recipes? I'd like to give it a fair shake.

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  1. Someone once gave me a jar. I tasted it and found it rather strong, almost to the point of off-putting.

    I ended up using it like I would bouillon.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Funny you should say that. My sister suggested the same thing when I tricked her into tasting it the other day while she was over.

    2. Marmite is the British version of Australia's Vegemite. They are both spreads based on yeast extract, a by product of the brewing process.

      My friends in Australia joke about it causing stomach cramps the first time you try it.

      The normal application for both is on toast.

      Wikipedia has articles on both.

      Marmite http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marmite

      Vegemite http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegemite

      1 Reply
      1. re: Hank Hanover

        Sorry to get to the level of semantics, but it's the other way around - Marmite was around before Vegemite. :-)

        My (British) husband loves it, and remembers his father using Marmite to make gravy and as a soup. He still prefers it on his morning toast, although I can't be around it (or him) when he makes it. He also thinks that anyone who likes dark beer, like stout or porter will be more inclined to like Marmite. And it balances blood sugar levels to regulate hunger, and therefore is good for weight loss.

        Plus, Marmite saves lives! (of roosters at least):

      2. I was wondering the exact same thing myself the other day as I purchased a couple of jars at World Market. I mainly eat it on buttered toast but actually tried mixing a tiny bit in with butter to dress steamed green beans. I loved it; the rest of the family turned up their noses.

        Bouillon is a great idea.

        1. Toast, that's about it. Actually, although It is an acquired taste, which I barely acquired in my time in the UK, it has many applications. I liked the Bovril flavored crisps, though; Bovril is somewhat similar in flavor to Marmite, used as boullion for soup or beef tea and contained beef at the time I was there. Marmite is veg. As you did, I found Marmite to be a bit strong in flavor when served on toast. They're both yeast extracts.

          I saw an episode of Chopped recently, the "redemption" episode, and a Brit chef used a fair amount of Marmite in something, I think it was beef shoulder she was grinding for sliders. The judges recoiled in horror at the amount of Marmite she globbed into the food processor with the beef. But they did like the flavor of the end result.

          Use it to enhance the flavor of food, as you would boullion, in stew or soup; it's great for vegetarian dishes, gravy and sauces, savory stuff. Here's link for more ideas:


          And a Bovril photo, FYI:


          7 Replies
          1. re: bushwickgirl

            When I was living in London, I ate Bovril a lot and actually bought it over Marmite. It's a bit harder to find in the States, though, and Marmite is similar enough to satisfy the same urge/craving.

            Another popular use for Bovril and even Marmite (particular among my young, broke uni friends) was to dissolve a spoonful in hot water and drink it like broth/tea.

            1. re: Mestralle

              I'll have to try that as well. I used to love bouillon tea, but after having it on a flight once and getting ill I can't even stand the smell of it any longer. My family thinks I am odd because I can taste it in foods.

              This might actually be a good replacement if done right. Do they just drink it straight like that, or is there anything more to the process?

              1. re: tbradt

                Honestly I don't remember the details - that was many years ago in my youth. But yes, they drank it straight. I was never a huge fan (but then I had my education and living expenses subsidized by generous parents).

              2. re: Mestralle

                When I was a kid, Bovril was easily found in any southern California market. In my family, it was used to make soup by the cup. My mom also used it to season/flavor stocks and gravies. I haven't seen it in years. I'll have to pay closer attention. Maybe try a cup of childhood.

                1. re: Caroline1

                  I think there were importing issues due to it being a meat base. I have been able to order it on occasion from a South Africa food store in Canada.

                2. re: Mestralle

                  Bovril tea, good for warming up in those chilly London flats.

                3. re: bushwickgirl

                  funny I always thought Bovril was a brand - I grew up with was a box of powder that was used to make gravies, and I've seen the concentrates like in your second link but always thought they resembled boullion more than mar/vegemite.

                4. Marmite if very strong and a bit of an acquired taste. It's very much a love-it-or-hate-it ingredient, I think, particularly if you're using it as a spread. Though very salty, it's actually fairly good for you, and as was mentioned, it can be used in many vegetarian recipes to give an umami, almost beefy flavor without any meat.

                  In the Far East (Malaysia, China), Marmite chicken is fairly well-known. You can Google for recipes.

                  A good hangover breakfast is very crisp, very buttery toast spread with Marmite and topped with a soft-boiled or poached egg.

                  (My husband, btw, can barely sit in the same room with me if I'm eating Marmite on toast, but he happily eats dishes that contain it (sans his knowledge).)

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Mestralle

                    Interesting. I bet it would do well as a partial supplement for soy sauce in asian dishes. Probably not a good replacement, but I can imagine it would do well mixed together and used in place of straight soy sauce.

                    I'm gonna have to look up that chicken. I'm roasting one tomorrow, and may give that a try instead.

                  2. Have you tried any vegan websites? Vegans use it to add a cheesey tang to sauces. I once made a cashew-vegemite sauce for potatoes and it was unspeakably vile, BUT I did find the flavor of the vegemite promising, so I think there is hope for it. You (and I) just have to find the right recipe.

                    1. I love and adore Marmite on a (good) toasted bagel, but it's just weird, wouldn't try to persuade anyone it's good. If for some reason, it rings your bell, it's fabulous, but otherwise, it's just strong. A good vegetarian bouillon option if it doesn't happen to do it for you. BTW, Marmite was one of the things Katherine, one of the doomed lovers in "The English Patient" (both book and movie), recited to her lover Almazy as among the thing she loved, together with rain and gardens, neither of which she ever saw again.

                      1. I think that if you don't grow up with marmite, vegemite and bovril you won't ever like it. I have yet to meet a friend that was a convert. I have only ever had it on toast with butter. I find it funny that it was joked that people who tried for the first time got stomach cramps as in my house growing up it was just the opposite, whenever we were sick with a cold or a stomach flu it was dry toast with marmite for our meals.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: sekelmaan

                          Well, you may have met one :)

                          When i first tried it I was overwhelmed, but I am a firm believer that you never really get a true taste of something the first time, so I tried it again. around the third time of trying it over several days I realized that I do sort of like it, but I have no idea why. It's really not very good.

                          It has a complexity to it that I find intriguing though. It has a sort of salty sweet roasted beer flavor, that for some reason draws me in. I can see how it could be a sort of comfort food.

                          1. re: tbradt

                            I have had better luck converting people to Peck's Anchovette. It is a strong, salty fish paste I used to eat on crackers or toast. I still love it, but it is really fishy for most.

                        2. I was under the impression it was a great food to feed wee ones to get extra nutrients in them. Especially since many don't like meat right away. And by feeding it to them young they'll love it well into adulthood. I don't exactly know what's in it, like sodium for example. I guess it could have been something to try with my babe. I've never been a fan so never really thought about it.

                          1. I think it's pretty high in B vitamins (from the yeast). I love the stuff but am English but even then lots of Brits hate it. For me it's great on toast but don't spread it thickly like Nutella, butter the toast first (or bread) and then sort of scrape it on and off again. You will get to find out how much you like.
                            I have used it to flavour soups and stews but it can be overpowering so start with half a teaspoon.

                            I also saw that Chopped episode and felt sick at the amount she used! Maybe it turned out ok.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: smartie

                              Just taken 6 Marmite jars to my daughter in Germany. (She wanted sandwich spread as well!).

                              We use it on toast - spread just a little otherwise its too strong. Made from yeast with vegetable flavoring - no preservatives or artificial colorants and suitable for vegetarians while Bovril is a meat extract.

                              1. re: smartie

                                Yep, I'm a Brit and I hate the stuff. Funnily enough, "Marmite" has become shorthand slang for "something you love or hate". I totally identified with the ad they ran a few years ago where a man gagged because he smelled it on his date's breath. Luckly, Mr GG doesn't like Marmite either.

                                1. re: greedygirl

                                  Love those commercials! You wouldn't get a company in the US advertising that their product is hated by at least half of the people who try it. :-)

                              2. I love Marmite!

                                Besides the toast, I have also enjoyed it with cheese on crackers or in a sandwich.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: crispysaltysweet

                                  Just as a side point Does anyone know how healthy Marmite is? I have found from my research that calorie or calorie, Marmite is a vastly superior source of of Thiamin 24.5 grams of Marmite supplies: (155% RDA Vitamin Thiamin ) and Riboflavin or B2 (202% RDA) all for only 38 calories. Sources: http://www.healthaliciousness.com/art... and http://www.healthaliciousness.com/nut....

                                  Whereas 30 Grams of Brewers Yeast supplies only 80% RDA of Thiamin and 90% RDA of Riboflavin or B2 with 116 calories. source: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/c...
                                  My money will be spent buying and using Marlite as a source of vitamin B2 regardless of the taste.