Today, I got my hands on a 220 g jar of this dark brown, yeast extract goo. At last I could confirm for myself the taste mysteries of Vegemite. Opting to take the traditional, sane course, I toasted up a slice of white bread, coated it in margarine, and then thinly spread some Vegemite. The verdict? Not unlike actress Lucy Hale’s assessment:
I agree that it has a taste very much like dried soy sauce with notes of Worcestershire. As I often make tofu sandwiches with soy sauce and nutritional yeast, this is not an entirely unfamiliar flavor. Heavy on the umami. Unlike Ms Hale, I will have this again. (UPDATE: I have a Vegemite sandwich almost everyday — thickly spread with Havarti cheese on wheat. Yum. Unfortunately, this means going through many 440g jars every year…which in Australia isn’t a problem, but in the U.S. it’s a bit of a PITA.)
I’m looking forward to maybe stretching it out into other recipes. My understanding is that it makes a decent broth which is slightly more chicken-y than beefy. I’ll have to try that out soon.
This American’s verdict? A welcome addition to my pantry, a food whose mythic unpalatability comes nowhere close to reality. It’s not for everyone, especially those who have a problem with the taste of soy sauce. While it’s not likely to find a place on my breakfast menu, it will be found in snack courses (can’t wait to try this in a sandwich). Aussies, ya done good.
And since you now probably have a hankering to watch the Men at Work video of “Down Under”, I’ll save you the search: