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Marmite Yeast Extract - Can You Live Without it?

Updated on October 28, 2016
Gloriousconfusion profile image

I love to write and to share my knowledge, and like to think that my reviews will help people trying to decide whether to buy or not to buy

Marmite is a traditional British savoury spread, made from yeast

Marmite has a distinctive strong, salty flavour, and is very popular throughout the British Isles. The man who discovered that a by-product of beer brewing could actually be used as a well-loved spread must have made a fortune.

a Jar of Marmite on my Kitchen Counter
a Jar of Marmite on my Kitchen Counter | Source

What is Marmite Like?

Marmite has a sticky consistency, dark brown in color, and it is usually spread thinly on buttered bread, toast or savory biscuits. Because of its pungent taste, it is not universally liked, hence the advertising slogan "Marmite - Love it or Hate it" I am amongst the ranks of Marmite-lovers. In fact, if I don't have it for a few days, I have cravings which must be satisfied, and only Marmite will do.

Boiled egg and Marmite on toast - My favorite breakfast


You might be interested to know that, unlike Bovril, which is fairly similar, Marmite does not contain any meat extract, so is acceptable to Vegetarians

One of my earliest recollections of food is my mother feeding me Ryvita and Marmite during the War, when I was about three years old. This means I've been eating Marmite for over seventy years....I wonder how many bottles I've consumed in that time.

Many other foods were in short supply during the World War II era, and Marmite was known to be good for you, as it is high in various B-Vitamins. It was even given out as part of army rations.

Everyone in our family loves it, so I don't know who the people are who hate it, but it certainly isn't us.

My favorite way of eating Marmite is to spread a little butter on to toast or very fresh bread, and then smear it with Marmite, as an accompaniment to my boiled eggs, instead of using salt. This to me is the ultimate comfort food, and I have it most days for breakfast. You might think that the strong flavour would drown the taste of the egg, but, funnily enough, it doesn't - it seems to enhance it.

Many years ago I was invited to travel to Abu Dhabi in the Middle East, before it was developed, and the friend I was visiting begged me to bring over six pots of Marmite, because he loved it so much. Of course I did so, but I had to laugh when I discovered it in a supermarket there - he'd thought it was impossible to buy out there, but I suspect that wherever you find a lot of Brits living, you'll find Marmite, because it's part of the staple diet of the British.

Other ways to buy Marmite:

You might like to buy a smaller twin-pack of Marmite, to save a little money, or a six-pack so that you can give some away as presents, but still keep some for yourself.

There is also a Limited Edition of Matured Marmite - stronger and a lot more expensive. I was stunned to find that Marmite XO, as it is called, is now out of production, and I saw it selling on the internet in October 2016 for up to £75, and even the empty bottle was being sold for about £5. What a shame that I ate mine, and only threw away the bottle a couple of months ago!

Whoever Thought This Limited Edition Marmite XO Would Ever Be Valuable?

I must have had a premonition, because I took this photo of Marmite XO in a local London store a year ago - the  value has increased nine-fold!
I must have had a premonition, because I took this photo of Marmite XO in a local London store a year ago - the value has increased nine-fold! | Source

A YouTube Video: Marmite - Why Would You Eat That?

Love it or Hate it - it's difficult to be neutral about Marmite - how do you feel about it?

See results
500g Marmite 2 Pack (1000g Total)
500g Marmite 2 Pack (1000g Total)

A big pack so that you can distribute it amongst friends or family, if you like giving foodie presents


Marmite in my Home

I keep a bottle of Marmite in my store cupboard at all times, so I never run out.

Here are the ways I use Marmite:

  • I use it as an alternative to salt, so when I have boiled egg and toast, my usual breakfast, I don't use any salt at all, I just spread some Marmite on my toast
  • Occasionally I fancy some peanut butter on bread, and this is much enhanced with a smear of Marmite on top
  • Marmite is delicious in tomato and chicken sandwiches - again, this is because both those foods taste better with salt, or something which tastes salty, like Marmite. So now I always, always spread Marmite on one side of the bread in my sandwich
  • When the jar is empty, and I've scraped out all the Marmite I can, I swill the jar round with very hot (not boiling) water, and use the dark brown mixture when making gravy or soup - it gives it a nice tang. I don't pour boiling water into the glass jar because the intense heat could cause it to shatter

Do try these ideas if you like Marmite, you'll be amazed and delighted.

Guestbook - leave your comments about Marmite below. I'd be particularly interested to hear from anyone trying Marmite for the first time after reading about it

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    • profile image

      Bill Kasman 16 months ago

      I can easily live without it - it's the most awful stuff I've ever tasted!

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      How can you live without it for 364 days?

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 3 years ago from Europe

      I thought it was typically Dutch. I only like it once a year on cheese :)

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi gloriousconfusion, thanks for the follow. Being an Australian I am not a Marmite fan (though I don't hate it) but I love Vegemite. The two are very similar and I think your preference stems from the one you have grown up with. Most people who aren't familiar with these spreads smear too much on their bread or toast and henceforth, hate the stuff. I also feel they need to be eaten with butter and not margarine for best effect. Vegemite was born as a use for yeast extract from the making of beer in Australia and the inventor was impressed by Marmite and wanted an Aussie version. He called it Parwill at first, a play on the name Marmite, but it didn't take off. Changed the name and the formula slightly and Vegemite quickly became Australia's favourite spread. I love it on fruit buns and scones. I agree both these would be a good salt replacement with certain foods that need it. Interesting hub, voted up.

    • Swisstoons profile image

      Thomas F. Wuthrich 3 years ago from Michigan

      My sister and her family spent several years in Australia and brought back something called Vegemite...which sounds a whole lot like Marmite. Are they pretty much the same? I used to spread a thin coat of butter on a piece of toast, followed by a thin coat of Vegemite, topped with a poached egg...which someone must've told me was one way the Aussies consumed it. Pretty long as you didn't overdo the Vegemite. Aha! I only just now (after posting my comment) viewed the video...which sort of answers my question.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      well, now I want to take a lick and try the darn stuff just to see if I'm in the love or hate category!

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 3 years ago from So Cal

      Tried it, not a favorite but if I had to eat it again, I could probably choke it down. We will eat just about anything.

    • Justillin profile image

      Jill Hart 4 years ago from Weston, Idaho

      Love Marmite, still remember the first time I tried it - a sandwich from my Aussie friends while camping at the beach in Japan.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      @Adventuretravels: Yes, we English must teach the foreign visitors what we eat at home - that is, when we're not eating chicken tikka marsala, pizza, kebabs, choritzo, won ton, pain-au-chocolat, Danish pastry and all the other delicacies we have adopted from abroad

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      @SusannaDuffy: To each his own, but Marmite is the one that sits on MY toast!

    • Adventuretravels profile image

      Giovanna Sanguinetti 4 years ago from Perth UK

      Mmmmmm - Marmite - I love it! I am the UK Contributor on Squidoo, I specialize in travel and I think visitors to the UK should certainly brave some Marmite on toast at their B&Bs! So I shall promote this lens in my FB page and Pinterest Boards and give it a thumbs up too! Thanks for sharing.

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 4 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Never would I dream of touching Marmite - even with a 40ft barge pole! I was raised on Vegemite (see how sturdy I am?) Vegemite is on my toast every morning

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 4 years ago from New Zealand

      Sorry, I hate it! Although we do always have it in the pantry. We use it instead of bullion to make a vegetable stock base for vegetarian soups. I don't mind it in soup, but don't give it to me in a sandwich.