Marmite versus Vegemite

Boost Your Bangers, JMN, photo. (Copyright 2018 James Mansfield Nichols. All rights reserved.)

YUM! Photo, JMN.

Faced with delay in receiving my mail-order Marmite, I recently ordered for the first time a supply of Vegemite as backup. They were, I assumed, essentially the same product under different labeling. Far from it! Here’s what I discovered.

Consistency: Marmite has an asphaltic tarriness to it, like unpourable molasses. You don’t so much spread it as squeegee it onto your toast with a trowel or the like, and as you draw your tool away, dark filaments of goo stretch from it like an extremely elastic thread of hot cheese from French onion soup. Vegemite, on the other hand, is pasty, like peanut butter; comes out in a clump on the knife and lends itself to docile distribution over the soldier’s surface. On first exposure I thought: Have they processed it in an underhanded way — hydrogenation or something — to create this user friendliness? I’m never far from mistrusting the industrial food-and-snack complex.

Adhesiveness: Marmite is industrially sticky. Some days, just removing the cap from the jar is challenging. Marmite would suffice, I believe, to keep the heat shield tiles stuck to the space shuttle — the ones that must not fall off under any circumstances upon fiery re-entry into the atmosphere. The adhering qualities of Vegemite are negligible. It wouldn’t stick a tissue nub to a shaving nick.

Flavor: Here where, after all, the rubber meets the road, I’m on shifting ground. There is a difference in the whiff and taste of the two products, which I didn’t expect. But it doesn’t just smash one in the face right off the bat. Smell and taste are such interlocking senses, and so fickle according to length of exposure, nostril conditions, palate weather, and who knows what else? I’m only on day two of the Vegemite experience. It may be a while before I can give urgently needed feedback on the subtle variations in taste of these two condiments.

(c) 2018 JMN.

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day, and watch Netflix and Prime Video for entertainment. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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5 Responses to Marmite versus Vegemite

  1. I look forward to the next instalmeny when research is more advanced. They are different, however I’ve never classified it, always being in the situation of having one or the other, not both. I do know I go through a jar of vegemite quicker than marmite however.

    • JMN says:

      I’m working my way through the jar of Vegemite. For my taste buds, Marmite is ahead in the ranking. It’s funkiness has an edge, a pungency, a power, that I find lacking in the other. Less goes further, consequently, contributing to a longer-lasting jar. I’ll have occasion to cool my heels on Nov. 10th for a night and a day at London Heathrow in my layover for the connecting flight to Barcelona. I hope to pass some of the time in fits of sketching. This pad must be put to good use!

      • Ah yes, your trip! Not long to go. I hope you have a great time and squeeze in some sketching. I was trying not to sway your opinion, but I prefer marmite too! After 4 marmite free days (whilst away), I’m back on it. There have been some enforced dietary changes in the family recently, which have led to me question my attachment to certain foods.

  2. Eric Wayne says:

    An Australian friend introduced me to Vegemite while I was living in China. I instantly liked it. You couldn’t buy it in China where we lived, but you can buy it here in Thailand (more expat consumers). When I couldn’t find it I tried Marmite. Perhaps I just like the one I was introduced to first, but Marmite’s a bit overwhelming (which many would say of Vegemite). I liked the convenient spreading capacity of Vegemite as well. I’m not really qualified to judge as of yet, as I’ve given neither thorough enough consumption. I have gone through probably a dozen jars of Vegemite in my life, though.

    • JMN says:

      Marmite was my first experience, and I favor it slightly. It is indeed intense. I think I was introduced to it in Holland, but it’s only recently that I’ve procured it for daily consumption. I don’t think it existed in stores in my neck of the woods. I have high regard for the claimed nutritive properties, as well as the taste, of these two gustatory ointments!

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