Vegemite

(Editor’s Note: In honor of Steve Irwin “The Crocodile Hunter,” The Impulsive Buy will review an Australian favorite, Vegemite. Irwin was a crazy mofo, but my kind of crazy mofo. He will be sorely missed, even the crikey. Rest in peace, Crocodile Hunter.)

There are things in life that we all must experience. Love and heartache. Happiness and sadness. Taxes and death. Jury duty and public urination. Liking a band and 10 years later realizing how lame they were, like WHAM!

Along with these experiences, we each have our own list of individual things we want to accomplish in our lifetime. My list is long because it contains things like, becoming a millionaire, being on the Today Show, and touching a woman’s boobie, none of which I have accomplished.

Recently my list became a little shorter when I tried Vegemite for the first time. It’s been something I’ve wanted to try ever since hearing the 1982 Men at Work song “Down Under.”

For those of you that aren’t familiar with Vegemite, it’s a Concentrated Autolyzed Yeast Extract, which forms the acronym C.A.Y.E., which ironically spells out the sound that came out of my mouth while running and gagging to the nearest sink after trying Vegemite on Ritz cracker.

Hmm, how can I describe the taste of Vegemite without causing an international incident or losing any Australian or New Zealand Impulsive Buy readers?

It looks like chocolate, spreads like peanut butter, smells like beef bouillon, and tastes like what I imagine tossing someone’s salad would taste like. I guess the salad tossing taste would explain the “vege” part in Vegemite.

Vegemite is definitely one of those things that will put some hair on your chest, and if you already have hair on your chest, it will put the hair someplace else. Since I already have hair on my chest, I believe the hair will probably grow on my palms, but I won’t know if it’s the Vegemite or my excessive masturbation that causes it.

I’m probably wrong about this, but I believe that Vegemite was created to disgust foreigners from anywhere outside the Australia/New Zealand area. Perhaps it’s payback for all the horrible things that we Americans have exported to Australia and New Zealand, like Rob Schneider movies.

If that’s the case, I’d like to call a truce.

Item: Vegemite
Price: $2.99 (4-ounces)
Purchased at: World Market
Rating: 1 out of 5
Pros: Puts hair on your chest and if you already have hair on your chest, it will put hair someplace else. Looks like chocolate. Low fat. Wonderful source of riboflavin and gagging.
Cons: Almost made me puke. Salty. Does not go well with Ritz crackers and probably won’t go well with any other cracker. Smells like beef bouillon and tastes like I just tossed someone’s salad. Steve Irwin’s passing.

42 thoughts on “Vegemite

  1. Man, there had to have been something besides Vegemite you could have done for Steve. That is going to far in his honor. I too tried it, oddly enough, in Honolulu, as a wee child–foul. I spit it out, literally. I had tried it before the song though, so instead of being fascinated, the song repulsed me. Actually, all of the imagery in that song repulses me and makes me never want to go near Australia. ‘Twas a fantastic and catchy tune though. I still overplay it and Overkill.

  2. As a Yank living in Australia, I really think you have to have Aussie genetics to like this stuff. It’s nasty, like a yeasty salt lick, yet kids go to school with Vegemite sandwiches (white bread, butter and Vegemite).

    As for Steve, we will miss him. ‘Nuff said.

  3. This goes with Nutella in the category of spreadable items I never want to try again. If, at some point, it is the last thing on earth to eat, I will starve.

  4. You should toss someone’s salad and then compare. I’m quite sure they’re not the same at all. Not that I’d know or admit. Publicly.

    I’m willing to bet you, however, a few 7-11 Purple S’Cremes (damn those are so good I can’t stop) that Vegemite’s the bigger loser compared to tossing someone’s nice, fresh-as-a-daisy salad.

  5. I don’t like Vegemite or Marmite, Promite I can handle…but would anyone want to? Not one of the Aussies best gifts to the world…however, have you seen Wicked Weasel bikinis?? Makes up for the ‘mites.

    To Barb: Nutella is the bomb diggity…try it on a hot croissant, a little goes a long way.

  6. My brother-in-law is Australian and when his mother visited the U.S. she brought a vat of Vegemite for her brekkie, as the crazy foreigners say. One morning, I wandered down and she put a thin layer of the stuff on a buttered piece of toast and put it on a plate for me. I ate half of it and did not die but my politeness can only extend so far.

    And now I need Nutella.

  7. I have a friend from NZ who just loves this stuff. And she is a good cook, also. I think it’s a taste you have to grow up with to enjoy…that’s her opinion on it also.

  8. Dude, you’ll try *anything*. Perhaps you should really go out on a limb and spread some Vegemite on haggis. Mmmmm.

    Alternate uses for Vegemite:
    – used as spackle
    – humorous fake dog doo
    – a weight for the bottom of your trash bin.

  9. Vegemite is THE BEST! As an Australian I agree that you have to grow up with it – definitely an acquired taste… I am currently trying to get my three-year old Memphis-born daughter to acquire it!

    Best way to eat vegemite – spread THINLY on a buttered piece of hot toast … or on a saltine cracker with nothing else – not a Ritz ever! Kraft actually make a vegemite cheese in Australia – cheese slices with vegemite already in there … kids love it even though its kind of grey looking …

    Go back to World Market and get the famous “Arnott’s Originals” chocolate biscuits (sold as Tim Tams in Australia) – your faith in Aussie food will be instantly restored!

  10. you crack me up every time, marvo!

    you are very brave for even trying that stuff – I’ve heard that it is INCREDIBLY gross so many times. I’m not sure if “Concentrate”, “Autolyzed” or “Yeast” is turning my stomach more, but BLECH!

  11. I’ve always been curious about Vegemite, but when I was little I thought it had something to do with termites. vegetarian termites… so do they sell it in the supermarket or only in the specialty stores.

  12. The trick to vegemite is small quantities. It should be treated like vermouth in a dry martini. Butter your biscuit (a more european definition, meaning cracker) give it a nice layer of real butter, and oh so light spread of vegemite. Barely color the golden butter with the dark brown vegemite. It’s not so bad that way, drink with strong sweet tea.

    Good On You Steve! We’ll miss ya.

  13. Eeeew, Vegemite, Marmite, all that stuff is sickening. I think I’d rather toss a salad. Really. But now, Nutella, yummmmm, that’s good stuff. I have to get some Nutella now, my son would love it. Peace to Steve, who hopefully did not have to eat too much Vegemite in his life.

  14. Marvo,

    G’day mate. It would be poetic justice if somehow Vegemite could be spread on the stingray that took Steve Irwin’s life and then eaten by another large fish. Crikey! The world shall miss Steve. Ugh.

    -dave

  15. Gia in the City by the Bay wrote:
    “however, have you seen Wicked Weasel bikinis??”

    Yes…. yes I have.

  16. Vegemite is something you either like, or really, really don’t πŸ™‚ Just like Marmite, which is the one that most people have heard of. I love Vegemite, it’s a lot weaker a taste than Marmite which I cannot stand. Yes, made of the same, but taste is quite different. Oh well, at least you know now πŸ™‚ Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

  17. Vegimite reminds of the 1984 Worlds Fair held in New Orleans. Men at work were the big thing so anything Australian was cool. My brother and I go to the Australia pavilion and we are waiting for the tour to begin when this old lady walks up and then lets out the loudest fart. My brother and I look at each other and have a laughing fit. The old lady slinked away. Then after the tour we go to the gift shop and buy a little jar of Vegimite where we proceed to put some a cracker take a bite and gag the rest of the day. Yeah, now whenever I read about vegimite, or Men at Work I think of the old lady and her sonic fart.

  18. Yuck. I’ve heard of the nastiness that is Vegemite, and I’m glad you were brave enough to try it Marvo, ‘cuz I sure as hell won’t. The packaging isn’t very appealing, either. Too old fashioned. The container looks medicinal, like Ben-Gay or something.

    Ohh, sweet Nutella. Gia’s right; spread a little on a hot buttery croissant, have a cup of coffee or tea, and that’s pretty damn good.

    Nice little tribute to Steve Irwin. We’ll miss you.

  19. I am Australian, so I must admit I eat vegemite all the time…as said before, it is best spread just a scraping on hot buttered toast. I did notice when I was living in the US that everything appeared to be sweetened in America, even the bread and crackers, so that may be why the vegemite doesn’t go so well with anything there. I actually prefer promite though – it is a bit sweeter than vegemite:)

  20. Doo,doo,doo,doo,doo,. Doo, doo, doo, doo ,doo,doo, doo doo doo,doo.doo.
    No Nutella,no,no Nutella!
    Vegemite.I’ll try anything once.
    And in light of the crappy passing of Mr. Irwin.
    He should have been on Snakes on a Plane.
    I’ll try it.And report back if I survive. Heck I like white bread with cheap La Choy soysauce sprinkled on it,so vegemite, on toast, with butter.Should’nt be that bad…..God help me.
    I am American but I grew up in Germany. Nutella is nasty.Though I love hazelnuts and I love chocolate, and I love them together,in candy bars(Ritter Sport),ice cream,etc,….but not Nutella. That is not chocolate from this earth that they use. It is like “chocolate food” with bastardized hazelnuts mixed in. You know how the goverment has cheese…Nutella is the same equivalent as a “chocolate hazelnut spread” Bleaah!!!!

  21. So.. uh, what exactly IS vegemite supposed to be, anyway? It doesn’t look too appetizing. Eesh.. I got a lot of reviews to catch up on it seems. Changed color scheme/layout it seems too. Ahh.. it’s good to be back home.

    Good review Marvo, as always.

    -PV2 Andy,
    368th MI Bttn

  22. Mir – You know what’s even nastier than Vegemite? Termite Vegemite!

    L’il E – You should’ve seen me run to the nearest sink. I was so hoping I wasn’t going to throw up along the way there. A co-worker, who was in the room, asked me if I was all right, I rightfully told her “no.”

    Mooselet – That’s what I’ve been reading. Butter makes it better, but butter also makes heart disease.

    Barb – Never tried Nutella, but I don’t think I’d be too nuts about it. πŸ™

    Domokun – I think I have to pay extra to do that. πŸ˜‰

    Gia in the City by the Bay – I have seen Wicked Weasel bikinis. Too bad you didn’t get to use yours during your trip here.

    Aarika – I don’t think I could spread a layer thin enough to like it.

    Chuck – I wonder if they would like habanero beef jerky from Art’s?

    cybele – Since it looks just like chocolate, just think of it as you eating the worst chocolate EVER.

    Mellie Helen – Hmm…Wear a thong. Eat Vegemite. Habanero beef jerky. You’re right, I will try anything.

    Alexandra – I don’t know about having my faith in Aussie food restored. After Fosters beer and Vegemite, I don’t know if I can take any more.

    Webmiztris – We should all be afraid of the word “autolyzed.” It sounds like a word that combines automobile and Lysol.

    Bryan – I don’t think it’s available at most supermarkets, but you probably have a World Market near you. You know what, I believe it’s cheap eats, you should also review it.

  23. jenn – I believe autolyzed means an automobile throughly cleaned with Lysol. But I’m probably wrong.

    Vylettefairwell – Oooh, Vegemite and Guinness. Now that’s a deadly combination into the dark side. Really dark side.

    Melanie – You know, I’m pretty sure he’s eaten a lot of Vegemite, because if he has the balls to wrestle with crocodiles, he must also have the balls to Vegemite.

    -dave – Yes, we shall miss Steve. But I shall not miss Vegemite.

    thedvs01 – No, you should really say, “Hell yeah, I have. Dang!”

    Rache – After trying it, my lunch was almost ventured.

    govtdrone – I can’t wait until I’m elderly and can fart loudly in public and not be embarrassed.

    Brie – I’ve never eaten Ben Gay, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it probably tastes better than the Vegemite…after the burning sensation stops.

    Linda – Actually, I feel like getting a spoonful of Vegemite and stirring it in hot water to make beef stock.

    christina – Natto…Oh the horrible memories are coming back to me. πŸ™

    Al – No, after trying Vegemite. God help me.

    Andy – Welcome back, Andy! Oh just to let you know, pretty much every review has sucked since you’ve been gone. πŸ˜‰

  24. When I worked in Japan as an English teacher, I had an Australian co-worker. One day I saw the yellow jar of Vegemite sitting on the table in the teacher’s lounge since he was fixing himself a snack (he had stepped out of the room for a minute). I looked at the jar curiously when my other co-workers started warning me not to try it. I picked up the jar, opened it, and sniffed the contents. I suppressed my gag reflex as best as I could, then put the jar down immediately.

  25. Oh, and it really sucks that Steve Irwin died. What a way to go though, eh? I guess it’s an appropriate death for an adventurer nature guy like him- kinda like that guy who tried to befriend bears and made a documentary out of it, but didn’t even live to see it since he and his girlfriend were killed by a bear.

  26. I was in Jr. High when Men At Work’s first album came out, so my friends and I pitched in our pennies to buy some vegemite. Nasty. Like eating, well, straight up yeast. did not enjoy.

  27. Growing up in the UK I was raised on Marmite. Vegemite is weaker and a poor substitute. Both (I believe) originated as waste products from the beer brewing process. Anyway, Marmite is fabulous, if an acquired taste. You have to work at these things folks. Who likes single malt scotch the first time they try it? C’mon… give Vegemite a chance people.

  28. I’m still sad about the untimely and unfair passing of Steve Irwin, but i have to tell you that your post made me smile, Marvo. And i thank you for that!

  29. Toni – Maybe he left, wanting you to dry. Nay, daring you to try it.

    Sylko – Never had straight up yeast. I have had fake chocolate chip cookie dough.

    Clive – Note to self: Do not try Marmite.

  30. Are you kidding me? Vegemite is delicious and it doesn’t put any hairs on chests (not mine at least!).

    The best way to have it is to thinly spread it on rye bread and grill it with some good quality cheese.

    YUM!

  31. I’m an Aussie girl and I live in Brisbane. I hed Vegemite on me toast THIS VERY MORNING for breakfast, and hot damn, it was GOOD!!
    Oh blessed Vegemite!! Your salty tasty wonderfulness!!

    In a way, one is glad that so many Yanks and so on dislike our fabulous Vege-spread, as it means more of it for more of us.

    Oh yeah, and Marvo? Did you manage to achieve your other goals yet, like touching a woman’s boob? You can come over and touch mine anytime.

  32. AY – It’s hard to spread anything thinly on bread. Whenever I have a peanut butter sandwich, people ask me if I would like any bread with it.

    Pinky – If I had an arm that could stretch thousands of miles, I would totally take you up on your offer. πŸ™‚

  33. I’m an Australian, and I only know about five other people who actually like vegemite… It’s horrible… really… Australians and Vegemite is a horrible stereotype.

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