Wednesday, September 3, 2003

The bottom of the British barrel

Our adventures into British food, never what you would call wild successes, pretty much hit bottom when we tried the Marmite.

Marmite is very British. A now 101-year tradition that is something of the equivalent of peanut butter, it is spread on bread and served to kids because it's full of B vitamins, though it's not limited to the kiddies. They have Marmite-flavored potato chips and everything. Ex-pats and hostages in foreign lands, homesick for Britannia and the white cliffs of Dover, long wistfully for it.

It doesn't really speak well of the British. Because the stuff is noxious. For your own good: stay away!

I shouldn't be surprised. After all, Marmite is made of spent brewer's yeast. And, it looks like, and is, a sticky black goo that lasts, opened, for years. Those really aren't good signs.

The, ahem, distinctive taste is something like salty, yeasty and very bad beer. It makes bagoong (which is surprisingly good on fresh mango, but that's another story) seem downright subtle.

Would anyone like a nearly-new jar of Marmite?


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