Saturday, December 05, 2009

The Origins of Vegemite

In my continuous quest to explain Vegemite to the rest of the world, I have come up with yet another theory on how Vegemite came to be.

It was petro-chemical engineers that first created Vegemite - they were trying to produce synthetic petroleum in the lab, in an attempt to solve the worlds looming energy crisis. Their research produced a thick black sludge that was not quite volatile enough to burn, so they tried using it as wheel bearing grease, and that didn't work either, not because it didn't work as wheel bearing grease, but because mechanics complained of the smell, so the problem was passed to the marketing department, and after examining the sludge, someone in marketing was heard saying "It smells like meat sludge!" and that's when the idea hit them - let's sell it as food.

After a few weeks of tests on many mice, rats and monkey's, Vegemite was born and the rest is history, in Oz anyway. Why the word Vegemite? Well, the marketing department worked really hard on that one, and to get away from it's meat sludge smell and appearance, they decided to let people know it is made from vegetables, and to spice the name up a bit, they then rhymed it with dynamite, and the iconic Aussie "Vegemite" was born.

By the way, I eat Vegemite all the time, usually on buttered toast with honey (I actually prefer promite, a competitors brand). And the reason all you yanks hate it is because the first time you tried Vegemite, you slathered it on your toast like it was peanut butter and then just as you went to take a bite, you dry wretched from the smell. The trick is to use the tiniest amount spread extremely thinly on toast, and then cover it up with some honey... this produces a lovely meaty, salty, sweet and crunchy food that is really good for brekky (breakfast), and actually quite addictive. Also, you can find it in a plastic squeeze tube, which makes it easy to travel with once you get addicted.

Stay tuned!


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