Travellers usually have an item they would never leave home without, for a lot of Australians a small jar of Vegemite would be one of the essential items on their packing list, it is definitely on ours.
I may be French however Australian blood also runs thick and am, especially to the French, more Australian than French. (Not sure I would agree but each to their own) In this instance my Australian heritage takes over and hence why I actually love eating Vegemite.
Vegemite, for those that don’t know, is a thick savoury black paste that you can spread onto toast/crackers or anything you would like. It can also be added as flavouring to many dishes such as stews. The spread is made from brewer’s yeast (vegetable extract) which was developed in the late 1920s – 1930s. The spread is of very strong flavour and very salty. It rivals the British Marmite, and dare I say it, it is better than Marmite.
Vegemite is an Australian icon and for the un-initiated a flavour that is acquired over time. Australian children learn to love it from a very young age, especially since most kids will head to school with a Vegemite sandwich in their lunch boxes.
I have yet to be able to get a French national to actually enjoy eating Vegemite. My sisters living in Europe, have managed to ensure my niece and nephew continue the Australian tradition much to the horror of their French husbands…but have to keep the tradition going. One would think that the French , with their cheeses that smell to high heaven, would actually like Vegemite, but unfortunately this has not been the case. Vegemite on a baguette is truly amazing, especially with some good quality butter… really!
Australian travellers will have a jar or tube of Vegemite in their cases as they head off to explore the world. Vegemite is ideal for kids especially if they are fussy eaters or if you need a quick easy snack whilst on the road. The spread is high in vitamin B and also is something that you can feed the kids with, that is not high in fat and sugar unlike a lot of quick snack foods or spreads.
Australians are fiercely proud of their Vegemite and what it represents, there is even a jingle in its honour. Vegemite is to the Australians what Peanut Butter and jelly is to the Americans, Marmite to the British and Nutella on crepes to the French.
When next in Australia, or if you have the opportunity to buy a jar, don’t hesitate to give it a try, I dare you. (You just need to get past the odour and then you will be fine) – hope you are adventurous enough to try it.
What would you not leave home without before heading out on your next adventure?