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Aug 18, 2010 03:09 PM


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.



      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.