7/20/09

In answer to something you don't get..

Last week I ran a competition to win a book about Britain and one of the questions I asked was: "What do you least understand about the British or Britain, and would like to know more about?"

Lots of you answered this, and so here are my thoughts on one of the things you raised.

Poltzie & Denise both just don't get Marmite or Vegemite, well I have to agree with them, it's DISGUSTING stuff. It doesn't even sound appetising, being a by-product of a beer brewery. It is a sticky, dark brown yeast extract paste with a distinctive, powerful flavour and smell, which is extremely salty and savoury. But it's iconic in Britain, and as the very famous ad campaign for it said "You either love it or hate it".

This campaign featured a taste station set-up outside a supermarket with shoppers being offered some Marmite spread on toast, the classic way to eat it. They would then show some shoppers happily chowing down saying "I love Marmite". But the advert ended with shots of others being literally chased across the car park by the person offering the marmite, the pursued screaming "I hate Marmite"! They were very funny and I was tickled to see I wasn't the only one. There really is just no inbetween with this product, it's just very clear cut for most people.

Another famous ad campaign used the slogan "My mate Marmite" chanted by an army platoon. This played on their initial slogan of "the growing up spread, you never grow out of".

The closest thing you have here of a similar nature with iconic status is the Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwich, which I also hate with a passion! But Marmite on buttered toast is a staple many Brit mums will turn to, when faced with a late supper or snack crisis in the UK. Thankfully mine wasn't one of them!

So personally this is one Brit obsession I don't understand either, as are Twiglets, a baked snack that tastes similarly bitter. So have you ever tasted it and are you in the 'love it' or 'hate it' camp?

20 comments:

♥ Braja said...

As an Aussie girl, I was brought up on Vegemite. After I lived in the UK for a year, though, I fell in love with Marmite, and I still love it....I can even get it in India, woot!!!

And those who haven't been brought up on it? Never understand it....it's hardly possible to acquire a taste for it as an adult. Although having said that, my husband (a Dane) LOVES it....

Mom in High Heels said...

OMG, those commercials are hysterical. I've never had Marmite (nor will I despite having a couple of British friends who rave over it) and like you, I hate PB&J with a passion.

karen said...

I am addicted to Marmite!!! Sadly my connection won't let me watch the videos at the moment, but will be sure to check them out when I can!

Gaelyn said...

I've heard of Vegiemite but never tried it. The comercials are hilarious.

Esther Garvi said...

No offense (I hope!) but Marmite is by far one of the most difficult things I've ever tried to swallow. It leaves you with an aftertaste that doesn't wear off for ages!

Kat said...

I just can't get over the thought of what it ACTUALLY is, so therefore, never tried it.

Yummy Mammy said...

I hate Marmite!! Yile nasty stuff yuck!

But I still love you :-) xx

Florence and Mary said...

I'm a marmite lover! I esp love marmite and cheese on toast!

Victoria xx

Sherri said...

Sarah, I never heard of either of these products either. I think I would be in the catagory of not liking them.

pamokc said...

TWIGLETS!!!!!!!!! SEND ME SOME RIGHT THIS MINUTE!!!!! YUMMMMMMMMM!!!!!

Britannia In Brief said...

I adore the stuff, though I'll admit it defies all logic or reason. Their advertizing is certainly canny, knowing how strongly people feel about the stuff!

Star said...

I don't like Marmite but I love twiglets! These are not the same thing at all (in my book). Twiglets have a gorgeous crunch and the sharp savoury taste just makes your mouth water. I love twiglets with mature cheddar cheese, GREAT! In our family,2 people ate Marmite and 3 people didn't.
Blessings, Star

Daryl said...

I will stick to jam on my well done toast, thank you

Rob Inukshuk said...

I like Marmite and go through phases of eating it often and then not at all for months.

Expat mum said...

OMG Sarah, that is a disgusting ad. Yuck. However, I am a Marmite fan, and think that most people don't like it because they put FAR too much on. You're supposed to scrape it very thinkly. I even have a Marmite recipe book, (no kidding). When you add Marmite to soup and stews it really givwes it a bite.

Flea said...

OMG! Those are too hilarious!

Brit Gal Sarah said...

TeeHee I knew you'd all appreciate those ads LOL!

Babooshka said...

Strangely I love it on toast. That got it bang on with those commercials. As for Paddington here was also a little hero to me. Quite the sarcastic little bear.

Jo said...

Hilarious ads! I've been given the opportunity to try Marmite a few times, but can't get past the smell. Give me gooseberry jam on my toast any day.

Snippety Gibbet said...

Vegemite tastes to me the way I would guess ear wax would taste. Yuck! jan