Marmite-an English staple that is catching on in America.
I first discovered Marmite when I was stationed in England during the 1980s on an Air Force Base in an area near London. Enchanted with British foodstuffs I was determined to try everything I could get my hands on. Like many people who encounter Marmite for the first time I put far too much of it on my toast and was instantly both repulsed and attracted to the substance.
I was determined to crack the code. I spread it on toast in a thinner layer and it definitely tasted better. A layer of butter -then a dab of Marmite also tasted pretty good. Marmite and Peanut Butter was another hit, as was Marmite on Cheese. Marmite on British Cheddar is a perennial favorite of mine on fresh-baked bread.
What is Marmite? Marmite is, in essence, an edible spread to be used on toast, crackers or vegetables. It’s made from a yeast extract that is a by-product of brewing beer. It has a strong taste, unlike anything you might imagine. I have often likened it to Boullion, Worchester Sauce, or Soy Sauce — but all of these descriptions miss the mark. It is definitely a “Little dab 'll do ya” food.
The consistency of Marmite is sticky and unctuous dark brown paste that clings to the knife is spread with. While the consistency of Marmite likens itself to Peanut Butter, one would not be tempted to eat a spoon of it out of the Jar. None of these descriptors make it sound inviting — however despite my initial hesitation about it, I grew to love Marmite and over the years have become adept at eating it in different ways.
Due to the love of Marmite in England, there are several products now being sold to its fans. You can purchase not only Marmite in various size jars but also aged Marmite XO, Guinness Marmite, Marmite Crisps, Marmite Crackers, Twiglets crackers with Marmite Flavor, Marmite Chocolate, Marmite Peanut Butter, and several other foodstuffs all flavored with our beloved Marmite.
I have seen several recipes using Marmite over the years. Nigella Lawson as an example has her infamous “Spaghetti with Marmite” Recipe. I have seen it used more than once as an ingredient on the TV show “The Great British Bake-off”
What to do with Marmite?
- Marmite on Toast with a soft poached egg on top.
- Marmite on Toast with baked beans on top.
- A Tablespoon of Marmite mixed with cream cheese and spread on Celery or used as a dip for crudites.
- Saute Mushroom in a small amount of butter, after the mushrooms begin to carmelize add a teaspoon of Marmite and allow to continue to saute. Eat on toast points or with a main dish.
- Marmite added to melted butter and added to vegetables that are then roasted in the oven until caramelized and well cooked.
- Add Marmite to a Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- Add a teaspoon of Marmite to Brownie batter before baking or Chocolate Cake batter for added flavor and interest.
- Add Marmite to melted butter and toss with mixed nuts. Bake nuts at 350 until golden. The Marmite adds a salty earthy flavor. Magnificent with Walnuts and Pecans and very good with Cashews.
Marmite can be purchased in the United States in many quality grocery stores and can also be purchased at Cost Plus World Imports. You can look up Marmite on Amazon.com and find a world of Marmite products that you can have delivered to your home. I adore the small packets of Marmite you can take in your lunch or add to a picnic basket. Squeeze Marmite is also sold if you prefer.
- Jar Marmite
- Beefsteak Tomato (or any other ripe heirloom tomato)
- Cooked Bacon Slices (3–5)
- Romaine or Bibb lettuce slices
- Toasted Artisan Bread
- Quality Mayonaise. (I like Hellman's)
Spread a thin layer of Marmite on two toasted bread slices. Spread a layer of Mayo on one of the slices covered with the marmite. Lay slices of bacon on both of the slathered toast slices. Lay a slice of Tomato over one of the slices, add the lettuce. Salt and pepper the tomato. Close Sandwich and cut crosswise. Enjoy with a handful of crisps, a pickle and a nice pint of Stout.
- Marmite Website (Unilever)
Marmite was conceived in 1902 and the Marmite Food Company opened a small factory in Burton-on-Trent where it still…
Nigella Lawson: Spaghetti with Marmite Recipe.
Ollie Moore’s simple Marmite bread (The Great British Chefs Website)
Further Facts on Marmite: 10 things you will love or hate to know about Marmite.
Dean Jones is a Librarian, Cookbook Reviewer, and writer. Originally from San Diego and having lived his teen years in the Pacific Northwest, Dean has lived for over 20 years in the lovely but barely affordable San Francisco Bay Area. Dean has graduated with an MLIS from the University of North Texas and has a BA in Liberal Studies from JFK University in the Bay Area. Dean is the Library Director for Hurwich Library in the San Francisco Bay Area. Dean can be seen at Book Festivals, Library field trips with the BayNet Libraries Group of which he the Events Director. He can also be seen haunting farmers markets, bookstores, and local restaurants. Dean lives in the SF Bay Area with his lovely wife their six kids and a whole lot of books. Contact Dean at email@example.com