This sacred black tangy paste is as Australian as the Sydney Opera House or the Harbour Bridge, Uluru or kangaroos. A thick dark spread used on toast or bread, or flavouring in soups and casseroles, it has been loved by Aussies since the early 1920s.
The secret to Vegemite is to use it sparingly—just a very fine thin layer on fresh toasted bread or crackers.
It is a thick black sandwich spread which tastes delicious, once you know how to use it properly. The great Australian joke is to send someone overseas a jar of vegemite and tell them to eat it by the spoonful or to slather it on to a piece of bread and eat it that way. Well - all this does is bring people to their knees in tears! Vegemite is supposed to be spread very thinly on pieces of bread with butter - or on toast with butter. The first taste of vegemite may come as a shock to some people - but once you've gotten over the initial twang - its YUMMO!
Short history Edit
This Australian icon was developed in 1922 by Australian food technologist, Cyril P. Callister, and marketed by a Melbourne businessman, Fred Walker. Made from the yeast left-overs of the beer making process, it became one of the positive side effects of the Australian brewing industry of the 1920s.
Vegemite's reputation for nutrition was boosted when infant welfare centres recommended its use for toddlers to receive their quota of vitamins B1, B2 and Niacin, but the manufacturers failed to mention that it also contained 10% salt, and so in its early days it was marketed as 'health' food. It has since had its salt levels reduced, so it conforms to health considerations.