Aussies love their Vegemite
Growing up in South Africa our school lunch pack nearly always included Marmite sandwiches that we loved. I remember swapping them with other kids for their fancy cheese, lettuce and tomato sandwiches often with a bonus sweet as a bribe.
Marmite sandwiches were hot!
I cannot remember exactly when, but one-day Vegemite arrived on the supermarket shelves and it became our number one sandwich spread.
I’m not sure if it is still true today but until I left South Africa to go sailing 17 years ago, every household had at least one jar of Vegemite in their kitchen cupboard.
Every SA yacht that goes sailing offshore always carries a few jars of Vegemite to help get the crew get through tough times and keep them healthy.
This delicious salty dark brown spread goes down well with every typical Aussie meal.
In Australia no households pantry is complete without a few jars of Vegemite. In fact, you will never be regarded as a true-blue Aussie until you publicly declare your undying love for Vegemite.
In Aus Vegemite is the real deal
I thought I would do a little research and find out more about the history of vegemite in Australia and here it is in a nutshell.
What is Aussie Vegemite?
Vegemite is made from leftover brewers’ yeast extract (a by-product of beer manufacture) and various vegetable and spice additives.
It is very dark reddish-brown, almost black in colour, very salty and is an acquired taste.
It is a thick peanut butter like spread and one of the richest known sources of Vitamin B.
Who invented and named it?
Vegemite was made by Dr Cyril P Callister of Melbourne in 1922 using brewer’s yeast blended with celery, onion, salt, and a few other secret ingredients to make this paste.
In 1924 Sheilah, the daughter of Fred Walker who owned the Cheese company Dr Callister worked for, won a national competition with her entry to name the spread Vegemite.
Vegemite’s health benefits
Vegemite contains B vitamins that includes:-
- Thiamine(Vitamin B1) enables the body to use carbohydrates as energy.
- Riboflavin (vitamin B2) is an essential vitamin required for proper energy metabolism and a wide variety of cellular processes.
- Niacin (vitamin B3) is important for general good health and can as a treatment improve cholesterol levels and lower cardiovascular risks.
- Folate (vitamin B9) – Our bodies need folate to make DNA and other genetic material.
- Magnesium – is a co factor in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate diverse biochemical reactions in the body.
- Potassium – is one of the most important electrolytes in the human body.
- Calcium – is a mineral that is necessary for life that includes building bones and keeping them healthy.
- Iron – is an important component of hemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to transport it throughout your body.
- Selenium – is needed for proper thyroid and immune system function.
Aussie Vegemite jingle
During the 1950’s every Aussie knew the words of “The Happy Little Vegemite Song” that had been used to advertise Aussie Vegemite. There are quite a few versions of the song on youtube.
The Happy Little Vegemite Song
“We are happy little Vegemites as bright as bright can be,
We all enjoy our Vegemite for breakfast, lunch and tea,
Our mummy says we’re growing stronger every single week,
Because we love our Vegemite,
We all adore our Vegemite,
It puts a rose in every cheek! is Vegemite?”
Some tasty Vegemite uses
Vegemite is great when used as a spread on fresh or toasted white or brown bread.
Also adds flavour when added to crackers on their own or with a slice of cheese.
Add a teaspoon of vegemite to a glass of warm water for a healthy drink.
Cooking roast potatoes with a dash of vegemite is also a popular meal.
Great on cheese scrolls.
From the image you can see that as with all products in the market place, Vegemite also has some serious competitors.
OK, who is ready to try a toasted Aussie Vegemite sandwich?
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