Experience No.057 in Australian Traveller Magazine’s 100 Greatest Australian Gourmet Experiences. It put a rose on every cheek, built a healthy next generation and was touted as a medicine for healthy mums to be; it was the food that most made this great nation great.
The reverence for Vegemite goes to the heart of the national character – nearly everyone else in the world hates it but we don’t care. Despite our national pride, Vegemite has been partly American owned since 1925.
“Perfect with lashings of unsalted butter on big crusts of well toasted of good bread – even white.” – Maggie Beer
The most common and well-loved use is to simply spread it on toast. And, like a fingerprint, tongue-print or the finer details of your iris, every person has a unique application method and combination. Some place the slightest amount on the end of a knife and waft it millimetres over the toast, hoping the air will act as applicant. At the other end of the Vegemite scale there are those who treat the dark spread like mortar and lash it on in centimetres. Some love a Vegemite sandwich with a slab of cheese, others combine it with avocado, but every Australian kid has made “Vegie worms” through a Salada at some point. Vegemite also turns up as an additive in many things, most notably the best gravy for a Sunday roast.
You can argue until you’re blue in the face that Vegemite on toast does not form a gourmet experience – but it is a uniquely Australian staple that is pretty much made from beer. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Where: In every Australian pantry across the country.
Did you know: Vegemite was briefly changed to Parwill in 1928 as a marketing executive thought the slogan “Marmite but Parwill” would gain market share over the British product. And then of course there was the disastrous iSnack 2.0 debacle of 2009 . . .