Vegemite is a dense paste used as a spread for many things. It is made from remnant brewer’s yeast extract mixed with vegetables, onion extracts, and some spices.
Vegemite was invented by a chemist named Dr. Cyril Callister in 1922. He accepted a challenge from his employer to make a spread from all of the yeast that was supposed to waste after the world war. The result is nothing short of a wonder.
What does vegemite taste like? Vegemite is flavorful, with a salty, malty, and slightly bitter taste. The texture of vegemite is very similar to peanut butter. But for the best experience, don’t do a thick spread. A thin spread between your sandwich would be just fine.
Nine households in Australia use vegemite spread on top of their toast. But five out of ten Americans would not even know what it is and might recoil after a first taste. But, vegemite is an acquired taste that you would come to love over time and it comes with a lot of nutritional benefits too.
Nutritional Benefits of Vegemite
Vegemite was made from waste and some other extracts. Not only does it have a unique taste but it has grown to become a favorite in Australian households. It is chocked full of nutrients, all of them natural.
Vegemite is endorsed by the British Medical Association and is a known source of vitamin B. If you want to up your vitamin B without taking supplements or pills and including vegemite into your menu would do the trick over time. Lack of vitamin B in the body could lead to poor brain function, heart disease, nerve damage, fatigue, anxiety, and lots of other illnesses.
In one teaspoon of vegemite, you have half the recommended daily intake (RDI) of all the vitamin B you need: vitamin B9 (Folate), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B1 (Thiamine).
Vegemite is also a good source of minerals like sodium and potassium. All these vitamins can help reduce the risk of birth disabilities, help keep migraines away, and help people that are addicted to alcohol stay away from the bottle.
Culinary Uses of Vegemite
Vegemite is not very versatile. Because of its very high sodium content, it has to be used sparingly in sandwiches. Vegemite can be used as a thin layer spread on buttery toast or bread.
Vegemite can also be used in small quantities in soups, pasta, and stews. It has a slight umami flavor that it could add to your cooked dishes. Some chefs are taking a bold step and are slowly incorporating vegemite into baked goods like brownies, cakes, muffins, chocolate desserts, and bread.
Vegemite can also be incorporated into other dishes and recipes that are available on the internet. You can try out some of these recipes, and experience new exciting ways to enjoy this spread.
History of Vegemite and How to Procure It?
Dr. Cyril Callister used a process known as autolysis or self-digestion to break down the yeast cells. It is the extract from the breakdown of these yeast cells that he combined with salt, onion extracts, celery, and some secret ingredients that were never mentioned. Dr. Cyril was under the employment of Fred Walker as the chief scientist in Fred Walker and Co.
When Dr. Cyril invented the spread, a national competition with a tempting cash prize of 50 pounds was held for the individual who won at naming the product. Fred Walker’s daughter won this and gave the name “Vegemite”.
Initially, vegemite wasn’t well accepted by the public, it had to compete with other substitute products like marmite. The name of vegemite was changed for a short while to “parwill” to boost sales. But the boost in sales didn’t happen till the 1940s and the name vegemite stuck.
Australians are the main consumers of vegemite, but it has made its way into the US market. If you are looking for a jar of vegemite, check the international section in stores, or order online, pay for shipping and have it delivered.
Is Vegemite Banned In The United States?
Fortunately no. There is no embargo placed on the import of vegemite into the United States. The folate is naturally, self-occurring, and not chemically induced, for this reason, it is not banned in America. Products that are enriched chemically with vitamins and minerals could be deemed illegal.
Facts You Don’t Know About Vegemite
- Vegemite is described as having a sulfur plus meat and chicken broth smell.
- The vegemite brand was acquired in 2017 by the Australian Bega Cheese group from Kraft Food Inc. for a whooping sum of 460 million US dollars.
- Vegemite is not gluten-free because it is made from yeast grown on barley and wheat.
- If you are a vegan or vegetarian and you worry if you could include vegemite in your diet, you don’t have to worry. Vegemite is made without animal products, so it is very much suitable for your diet.