My Mate, Marmite.

Friday night’s gonna be all right! TGIF guys:) Here is this week’s Blogger in the Spotlight (BITS), Abigail King.

Close-cropped marmiteEngland gets given a hard time for its food, particularly by its European cousins. The stainless steel vats of saggy cabbage and unidentifiable veg in schools and hospitals up and down the country don’t help much either. Yet I’m not going to defend roast beef and shepherd’s pie or even Yorkshire puddings and fish ‘n’ chips. I’m going to talk about marmite. According to the label, marmite contains brewers’ yeast extract, the leftover sludge from brewing beer. After a few rounds of filtration, a handful of spice and a top-secret ingredient, marmite is ready to face the world.

Marmite comes in an unmistakable jar, with edges rounded like a teapot, and a sunshine-yellow lid. Inside, the stuff looks like glossy, black treacle with a thick consistency that some people compare to crude oil. Others think that’s unfair on the oil. Spread just right, marmite gives a sharp kick, with a hint of malty sweetness. It’s not to everyone’s taste, as the ad campaign realised when it ran with “Love it or hate it,” but let me state for the blogging record that I LOVE marmite. In fact, I harbour suspicions that many of those who claim to hate it simply don’t know what they’re doing.

Marmite ToastThere’s a knack to spreading marmite, a technique that transforms the experience from “Holy *^%, I’ve just sustained chemical burns to the roof of my mouth,” to “Mmmm, I never knew that macerated fungus could taste so good. Give me more!” You need toasted bread, buttered while still hot so that the top layer of the bread dissolves (don’t let margarine lead you astray, it won’t work.) Then, holding the knife at a slight angle, smear the thinnest possible layer of marmite across the melting butter. The thinnest possible layer! This isn’t vegemite, this is strong stuff. Complete the culinary delight with a nice mug of hot tea. Traditional English food at its best.

About this weeks Guest writer:

abigail king

Abigail King is a freelance writer from Britain who’s currently based in Spain. She has a passion for art, science and travel and a background in neuroscience and medicine. She blogs about global travel at Inside the Travel Lab and writes about short trips in Europe for Cheap Weekend Breaks.

Abi’s website: Inside the Travel Lab

Follow abi on twitter: @abigailking


  • Lisa says:

    Yum! I like my Marmite on toast or with a good sharp cheddar in a toasted sandwich. The toast has to be cooled but still crisp and the butter 1mm thick – unmelted on the toast – with the Marmite thinly smeared across. Hmmmmmmm – and a mug of strong, hot tea with lots of milk, no sugar. That’s bliss.

  • gfad says:

    Marmite to me is like lemongrass. Both dark and with a strong kick, I LUUUUURVE ’em!

    I take marmite on buttered toast, toasted cheese sandwich, prawn/crab/ribs, in hot water & porridge, etc. In fact, I think I’ll go make buttered marmite toast now!! 😀

  • eiling says:

    I like this too! But I think it’s more common for us here to put a spoonful of Marmite into our porridge rather than on the toast.

  • Leo (thule) says:

    I don’t eat Marmite…

  • I love Marmite too, a bit of an odd one out in the country of vegemite lovers! 🙂

  • Ming says:

    Marmite reminds me of London. There’s nothing more comforting than toast with butter and marmite and a good hot cup of tea when it is grey and drizzly outside. Marmite costs a bomb in Beijing but I have a jar in my fridge, just for those days.

  • My vote is FOR Marmite. Loves it on toast (but lightly spread) or hot porridge. Yummilicious! 🙂

    • cumi&ciki says:

      Hi kenny! make some for me.. i wanna try it again and see if i can take it. It’s been like 10 years since I ate the stuff. I think it must have been my technique. I must have been spreading it wrong – NOT enough BUTTER 😛 LOL

  • superwilson says:

    I love Vegemite!

  • 50's child says:

    I love Marmite….. I’m a 50’a child. Brovil drink comes in a close 2nd.

  • AdventureRob says:

    I love Marmite and it is far superior to Vegemite, I argue this all the time with Ozzies.

  • Sean says:

    marmite brings back memories of my late grandfather, who used to keep some of it always on the shelf to go with his bread or porridge at breakfast. i guess he learned to like it because he grew up during the british colonial decades. it’s been ages since i had it, but it was always a bit too salty and strong-tasting for me 😀

    • cumi&ciki says:

      maybe we got the technique wrong. i too find it too strong tasting coz i never used butter! i think anything diluted in tons of butter should taste OK. haha

  • Brother B says:

    My my my, this blog really brings back memories. I grew up on Marmite!!!!
    And Vegemite, Bovril and the likes are no comparison to the REAL THING!!!!
    At any time, i would have these in my fridge – Marmite, Del Monte Ketchup and SCS butter.
    In fact, i am going to make myself a toasted bread now with Marmite.

  • Abi says:

    Glad to find so many marmite fans! I can’t find it here in Spain – I have to wait for visitors to smuggle some across. I’ve never tried marmite in porridge, though. That’s tomorrow’s breakfast sorted, then!

  • Top Tip;

    Get some crumpets, butter, marmite and soft cheese (e.g. Philadelphia).

    Toast crumpets to your preferred level of crispyness/brownness.

    Spread with butter

    Spread with marmite

    spread with soft cheese.

    Eat while still warm.

    My all time favourite snack.

  • RunawayJuno says:

    Haha Oh my my…. I should get on of those.
    Somebody UPS me w/ that!!

  • BaliYummyBlog says:

    Anything that comes or with the beer : count me in. Never tried Marmite, but I will definitely try it! Actually I’m a BIG fan of Marmite sister : VEGEMITE! Yes! It’s the same thing : Love it or Hate it, and I’m probably the only Indonesian crazy about Vegemite on my bread. Reading Abigail blog post has taken me to a dreamy place where I’m sipping a hot tea with warm toast bread and Marmite spread on it.
    Thanks for the lovely post!!!

  • Melvin says:

    Now I get it… “…smear the thinnest possible layer of marmite across the melting butter.”

    So thin, that you don’t taste it anymore, right? LOL

    I know these discussions from home… everything can taste good, if you know how to make it right. I would say: if you can’t taste it anymore, what you don’t like… it’s made right! 😉

  • Melvin says:

    But to add… great article Abi & a nice try! But I still “hate” it. lol

  • TravelholicA says:

    Good to know it! I still have 2 days left in England to try it. Let me check the supermarket today! 😉

  • Melvin – I dare you to try marmite on anything and not be able to taste it! Vegemite is a close cousin but it’s not the same. It’s much more forgiving (with a bit less taste) than marmite. Anyone can apply vegemite – there’s definitely a technique that comes with experience for marmite! Travelholica you have been warned!

  • Shane says:

    John the Monkey has the right idea, though I’d replace the soft cheese with extra mature cheddar. Mmmm, can’t wait to get back to the UK.

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