Home » Life Down Under

What is Vegemite?

25. November 2009 by Michelle 0 Comments

If an Australian man comes to visit, ask if he packed some Vegemite in his luggage. Most Australians never leave home without it. What is this strange brown paste and why is it such a popular food favorite in Australia?

 

It’s healthy

One of the richest natural sources of vitamin B is brewer’s yeast, an extract made from beer manufacturing. An Australian food company discovered how to use this vitamin-rich yeast and created a tasty spreadable reddish-brown paste in 1922. A naming competition allowed the Australian public to choose a moniker for this interesting invention and Vegemite was chosen. Packed with thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and folate, Vegemite is virtually fat-free with no added sugar or artificial flavors.

 

It’s versatile

Vegemite can be eaten as a simple spread on toast or biscuits, or it can be added in soups or marinades. There are many different ways to add Vegemite to your meals. Some Australians love it so much, they eat it with a spoon right out of the jar! Recently, Kraft released a new version of Vegemite called Vegemite Cheesybite, adding cream cheese to the original, making it easier to spread and less salty.

 

It's a catchy jingle

Most Australians can sing the Vegemite song, which began as an advertising jingle sung by children in the 1950’s. The “Happy Little Vegemites” song turned into a long and effective ad campaign and the television commercial occasionally airs on television today.

 

With over 80 years on the market, most Australians have grown up eating Vegemite and may agree that it is an acquired taste. When people from other countries sample its unique flavor, they tend to cringe or make a disgusted face. But Australians don’t care! That just means more for them. Over 22 million jars are sold in Australia every year; that’s 235 jars per minute!