I have a thing for BBC panel shows – especially Q.I. (I miss Stephen Fry as the host.)
I honestly don’t remember on which panel show I heard this discussed, but apparently it’s very hard to find peanut butter in most European countries. It’s not that they don’t have peanuts – it’s that they don’t find grinding them into a paste to be very appetizing.
Personally, I love peanut butter, but I do understand that tastes vary from culture to culture. I wouldn’t question their distaste for peanut butter if it weren’t for one thing.
If you’re not familiar with Marmite, their slogan is, “Love it or hate it” because few are neutral regarding the salty goo. It’s made from yeast extract, a by-product of beer brewing. I’m sure there are many creative ways to use Marmite (or similar products) but one of the most common methods is to spread it on buttered toast.
Perhaps I might actually like Marmite if it were used sparingly as an ingredient in a dish for the purpose of adding a little flavor, but straight or on toast? No thanks! The only word that comes to my mind to describe the flavor is “bouillony”‘ or perhaps “bouillonish”.
To further understand the taste of Marmite, let’s break the word down.
mar – 1. Impair the appearance of; disfigure. 2. Impair the quality of; spoil.
mite – 1. A minute arachnid that has four pairs of legs when adult, related to the ticks. Many kinds live in the soil and a number are parasitic on plants or animals.
I think the manufacturer of the yeast extract goo was smart to choose the brand name Marmite over Spoiledparasite.
To be fair, there are many who love Marmite. Those who love the brown salt lick syrup are very passionate about their love for the product.
Those who hate Marmite describe it as “salty”, “having the flavor of straight soy sauce” or, my favorite description, “ass crack”.
If the flavor of ass crack were to be manufactured and marketed to the public, I have no doubt there would be a market for it.
Love it or hate it, there will always be those who have a hearty appetite for the taste of disgusting.