The Vegan Club

A private club for vegans to meet and relax in a (finally) cruelty free safe zone. Recipes, life stories, ideas... enter in the Club to find out!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Product Review: enter in the world of Marmite!

If you have been following closely the wonderful Vegan Lunchbox chronicle, on Aussie day (or something of the like), you should have read about Jennifer's Vegemite sandwich and how Mrs Shmoo herself had a few doubts about serving this typical Aussie spread to a kid.

Instead that reviewing the Australian spin-off, for the love we feel for all vegans out there, we got ourself to review the first and original yeast spread: the proudly English-produced all-mighty Marmite.

If you have never heard of this, Marmite is a thick, dark, brown spread, which looks very much like Nutella, but which has a totally opposite taste and smell. As the really lovely website states (for the more delicate of you, keep away from their viral films), the payoff of Marmite is indeed "Love it or Hate it" since there seems to be no middle ground for this exceedingly strong flavoured spread. And "TO BE USED VERY SPARINGLY" should be written on the packaging.

Those Brits who love Marmite like it on warm toast. The one who hates do not even want to open the lid ever. Since the taste is well... really particular. To say the least.
Marmite, which is incidentally totally vegan (or 100% vegetarian as the packaging states clearly) is very meaty in taste and in your mouth will make you think of strong meat stocking or some kind of super thick (possibly rotting) meat sauce. It is slightly bitterish as well and so dense and flavourfull in taste it is, well, hard for me to swallow it up on toast. Right out impossible to lick what's left on the spreading knife! It's not only the meatish flavour (totally natutal by the way: it comes fromt he yeast, no artificial ingredients added), but the foul smell and sticky texture as well...

However, do not think this is a bad review: on the contrary! Marmite is a very old, typically British product, which has always been vegan (the historical value of this vegan food is in iteself worth a story: it was packed with soldiers rations in WW2 given its nutritional values) and it is definitely worth for you to hunt it down whenever you may live: even if it may be disliked by half of the vegan population on bread due to the taste, it is pretty extraordinary in cooking. Diluted properly, it's excellent for marinading, roasted seitan, tofu cutlets, even as a savoury glue to hold together your veggie burgers (and indeed, I believe a very similar ingredients is what makes some fake meats so meaty in taste)!

So is that all? No, there is more that should definitely convince you to try Marmite out: the vitaminic content is so great it is hard to believe! Each 4 grams (told you it can only be used sparingly!) serving has:
  • 9 kcal
  • 1.5 grams of proteins (!)
  • 16.6% RDA Thiamin
  • 17.5% RDA Riboflavin
  • 35.6% RDA Niacin
  • 50% RDA Folic Acid (!!)
  • 60% RDA B12 (!!!!!!!)

That's right! In 4 grams there is 50% of your needed daily intake of Folic Acid and no less than 60% of your recommendad daily intake of B12!!! Amazing! B12 supplements, goodbye!

Now, go get it, experiment with recipes, post them back to us and let's all join the Marmite lovers club! This lovely British tradition definitely deserve all our love!

Ladies and Gents, all your attention please: we did not get another person in the club. We got a super lovely family all contributing to these two lovely blogs, posted to you directly from Quebec, Canada! Pay a visit to Gaia and her super family at Live It Up Vegan! (in English) and Vivez Végé for the French speaking of you (I am so excited! French vegan bloggers are soooo creative!): you won;t be disappointed!

And to Gaia + Family, a great and warm welcome to The Vegan Club family!


Blogger KleoPatra said...

First of all, welcome to Gaia and her family. It is a tres fantastique blog... in French, which i don't know, but i am thankful for the English version.

And secondly, i have not tried Marmite, but i think i might want to. Years ago, i tried vegemite and disliked it intensely! I think i had too much though, and it was a long, long time ago. I'd be willing to give it another shot in the future... but wonder if Marmite is something totally different. Either way, i'd try both again, for sure. Especially the Marmite, with those health benefits!

Thanks for the great info, t.!

3:40 am  
Blogger Dori said...

I have both vegimite and marmite in my cupboard. I can't do the toast thing, but it makes a great flavoring to some seitans, stews, and other dishes that like a more brown flavor.

I did not know the great nutrtional info you wrote here. Awesome!

5:38 am  
Blogger Candi said...

Welcome to Gaia and family! :P I had the priveledge of *meeting* her family already and they are so sweet and wonderful, and the blog is really amazing! I love the photos!! :) *waves to Gaia* :) I'm glad you are here!

Oh! What is this? A new "kind of super thick (possibly rotting) meat sauce?" LOL! Well... I sure hope it tastes better as a marinade!! :P Thanks for the info!

8:50 am  
Blogger Ferocious Killer Kat said...

"Love it or Hate it"

I'm on the HATE it side.. hehehe.. I can't stand marmite.. hehe.. I'm so laughing right now.. my first experience was worse.. I've never tried it since ;-)

9:02 am  
Blogger t. said...

Kleo and anybody else, I think Marmite only gets worst in taste if anything! I am pretty sure, as Ferocious points out, second attempts are rare since the first is usually too off putting!
But for cooking Marmite is not bad at all. And the idea that I *Could* throw out the B12 supplement just make me *want to like it* really hard!

11:35 am  
Blogger Jackie said...

I cannot live without Marmite. Many of our countrymen who have emigrated request it to be sent from South Africa as they haven't found a product to match it. Both meat eaters and veggies enjoy it here.

One thing to watch out for is that it's salt content is rather high so don't overdo it with small children.

3:27 pm  
Blogger t. said...

Jackie I guess you are a true Marmite lover! You are on the best side in my opinion even if I, getting acquainted with the taste only now, won't be able to jump the line from hate to love any time soon! Maybe with time I will get to your level!

Glad on this spread a lot of people have something to say!

6:27 pm  
Blogger Valentina said...

it doesn't sound very good but I might try it.. mm I'm not a fan of meat-tasty stuff..

8:42 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all, thank you t. for the beautiful introduction :-)))))
We are very happy to be with the Vegan Club ! And thanks to Kleo and Candi, too ***hugs***

Well, I don't know if we will ever get to try Marmite here but I must admit I'm a bit scared of trying it now ! LOL

2:48 am  
Blogger Melody said...

I've never had marmite, but I have a feeling I'd like it.. even though I don't like the way meat tastes..

4:14 pm  
Blogger veronica said...

It doesn´t taste like meat at all, it´s more like cheese if anything, it´s similar to yeast flakes.... well, it is made of yeast I believe!. I use it as vegetable stock and in fried mushrooms on toast.

9:29 am  
Blogger tippitappi said...

sorry but I had it once in the uk and I didn't like it at all!! I like the packaging though :)

12:54 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Marmite is only vegan in terms of ingredients. It is owned by Unilever, a company known to use lots of vivisection in the testing of their products.

9:57 am  
Anonymous Cee Cee said...

I absolutely love Marmite. I always ask the haters how they tried it and how much. It's kind of like Miso in that YOU DON'T EAT IT STRAIGHT OUT OF THE JAR! Make some toast, spread on your favorite vegan margarine and a TINY bit of Marmite all blended together. Now, what do you think? I find that it tastes like shitake mushrooms.

1:49 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, but Vegemite is a spin off of Marmite, not the other way round. There's my little bit of patriotic babble over. Speaking to people I've met from Australia, Marmite is considered sweet and Vegemite is savoury; I can see where they're coming from. I prefer Marmite. Definitely not meaty, a little like the aftertaste of eating olives or drinking strong coffee. Very salty, but delicious mixed with cream cheese or butter, or even peanut butter, or on toast with an egg on top.

10:07 pm  
Blogger Sarah conaghan said...

Your right! Not to mention that they use dried isinglass in the process of making marmite, for those of you who dont know what that its made in the swim bladder of a fish! Therefore NOT VEGAN or even vegetarian!

4:46 am  
Anonymous Alexander said...

Sarah: "Marmite is approved by the Vegetarian Society. During the brewing process, some brewers add isinglass (extracted from the swim bladder of some poor Sturgeon) to help clarify their beer. However, the yeast extract is removed before the finings are added, so yes it is vegetarian."

11:07 am  
Anonymous Peter said...

The mention of vivisection re Marmite is ridiculous. OK you might want to boycott Unilever because of the alleged vivisection that company carries out, but unless you can provide evidence vivisection is used in the production of Marmite, it stays vegetarian (and as far as I can see, vegan).

8:46 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's really nice if you just mix a teaspoon of marmite with with spaghetti! It's my comfort food :-)

6:16 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

marmite is my comfort food, brought up on a thin layer of marmite on toast it is salty and strong tasting and perfect as a stock maker, a warm drink (added to milk) and works well mixed with oil for your roast potatos,a small jar will last you a very long time.

2:23 pm  
Blogger Kev said...

It isn't ridiculous at all. If you boycott a company because they undertake animal testing, you boycott them in order not to give them money. If you buy marmite, you are giving a company that undertakes animal testing money.

10:15 pm  
Blogger Ian Hamilton said...

No, that is not correct at all. Marmite results from the initial stages of the brewing process. Isinglass comes much later on, as a clarifying agent for the beer.

11:46 pm  
Anonymous Jonathan Brown said...

Unilever who make Marmite both admit to testing on Animals AND they are responsible (but have fought taking responsibility) for mercury poisoning
and it took very little googling to find this info. We can call ourselves "vegan" as we pay money to these companies, but you ARE supporting an industry with deeply questionable ethics with the money you hand over.

9:23 am  
Blogger Conchita Quilt said...

On the taste side I much prefer Marmite to Vegemite and personally don't think they taste at all alike and the consistency is quite different. I love Marmite and can even lick it off a spoon. Marmite is definitely not Vegan because of the B-12. It is however Vegetarian because it contains no meat but does contain animal by-product in the form of B-12. There are alternative to getting B-12 that are Vegan but safly Marmite is not one of them. On the ethical side of things, it's true, whether we like it or not, Veganism is a way of life and not just a diet, therefore if a product is vegan (not in this case) and it is owned by a larger company (Procter & Gamble in this case) then your money is going toward funding cruelty towards animals. The you just have to decide what kind of vegan you really are. Just like wearing vintage fur, I personally would never, but each person knows their own conscience.

12:08 pm  
Blogger charlesr said...

Marmite is absolutely delicious. I have two slices of rye/sunflower seed toast each night with large dollops of marmite on each. I reckon an 8g dollop overall. That's my RDA taken care of. BRILLIANT!!!!!!!!!!

9:31 pm  
Blogger joanne said...

The shape of the pot (and ultimately the jar shape) cones from the French cooking pot a'marmite' 😀. I love it and always have. I live in NZ now but only eat the original and best. It's sold as 'Our Mate' or 'Mighty' here.

10:03 pm  
Blogger joanne said...

Correct Ian. My husband used to work for Bass which was next door to the Marmite factory. Isinglass is added to beer right at the end to filter beer. Marmite comes from the left over initial brewing well before filtering. 😊

10:07 pm  
Blogger Conchita Quilt said...

Oops I said Proctor & Gamble, meant Unilever, sorry!

2:08 pm  

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Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened. Anatole France