January 20, 2006

He just smiled and gave me a vegemite sandwich:

The above are lyrics from the famous 80's song Down Under by Men at Work. Now the real question that is on everyone's mind is what the eff is a Vegemite Sandwich? Well since I have no life and the Doc is playing x-box, I took it upon myself to research that very question.

What is Vegemite? "A Vegemite sandwich to an Australian kid is the equivalent of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to an American kid - but the taste is QUITE different!"*

Vegemite is a yeast extract product made from leftover beer brewer's yeast extract along with various spices and vegetable additives. Sounds yummy doesn't it! According to my research it's an acquired taste but it is something that Australian children are raised on from birth.

This is the history of the birth of Vegemite. The idea was formed by a man named Fred Walker who wanted a new yeast product to sell with his cheese. The product was created by the chief scientist at the cheese company Dr. Cyril P. Callister, blending the brewer's yeast with celery, onion, salt and some other "secret" ingredients to give it the paste like consistency. My guess is that the "secret" ingredients are secret for a reason. A national contest to name the product offered 50 pounds to the winner. The name "Vegemite" was finally chosen from the entries by Fred's daughter Sheilah .

It took a while for Vegemite to take off, it even went through a name change. Walker joined forces with Kraft foods, changed the name back to Vegemite and started a marketing scheme to get every Australian a jar. Thanks to a special coupon where you would receive a free jar with any purchase of Walker Cheese, you will find a jar of Vegemite in nine out of ten pantries in Australia. It's like the American Express Card for the Australian...you know, don't leave home without it.

*Vegemite information made possible by Linda Stradley, author and creator of What's Cooking America

3 comments:

Fire Ant said...

Yeah, but is it any good?????? I've heard that it truly is horrible....

P. Sophie said...

I suppose if you have eaten it since you were two - you wouldn't know any different. But personally I will live my life w/o ever trying the stuff!

Princess Buttercup said...

If only I had been born an Aussie...