Marmite is made from yeast extract, a by-product of beer brewing. Other similar products include the Australian Vegemite (which is thicker in texture and less tangy), the Swiss Cenovis and the German Vitam-R.
The British version of the product is a sticky, dark brown food paste with a distinctive, powerful flavour, which is extremely salty.
This distinctive taste is reflected in the British company’s marketing slogan: “Love it or hate it.”
Would people in Barga who have never tasted Marmite before find it an appetising dish ?
In January 2008 Champagne Marmite was released for Valentine’s Day, with a limited-edition run of 600,000 units initially released exclusively to Selfridges of London. The product had 0.3% champagne added to the recipe, and a modified heart-shaped label with “I love you” in place of the logo.
Marmite is traditionally eaten as a savoury spread on bread, toast, savoury biscuits or crackers, and other similar baked products. Owing to its concentrated taste it is often spread thinly with butter or margarine.
Marmite is paired with cheese, such as in a cheese sandwich, and has been used as an additional flavouring in Mini Cheddars, a cheese-flavoured biscuit snack. Similarly, it is one of Walkers Crisps flavours; is sold as a flavouring on rice cakes; and Marmite Biscuits. Starbucks in the UK has a cheese and Marmite panini on its menu.
First produced in Burton-on-Trent in Staffordshire in 1902, Marmite contains concentrated brewer’s yeast, salt, spices and celery. Due to its high nutritional value, it was part of soldiers’ ration packs during the First World War, and in the Thirties, English scientist Lucy Wills found that the folic acid in Marmite could be used to treat anaemia. Its high vitamin B content also reportedly makes the spread an effective mosquito repellent.