Vegemite

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Vegemite (pronounced /ˈvɛdʒɨmaɪt/ VEJ-ə-myt)[1][2] is a dark brown Australian food paste made from yeast extract. It is a spread for sandwiches, toast, crumpets and cracker biscuits, and filling for pastries. It is similar to British, New Zealand, and South African Marmite, Australian (US owned) Promite, and to Swiss Cenovis.

Vegemite is made from used brewers' yeast extract, a by-product of beer manufacturing, and various vegetable and spice additives. It is salty, slightly bitter, and umami or malty — similar to beef bouillon. The texture is smooth and sticky. It is not as intensely flavoured as British Marmite and it is less sweet than the New Zealand version of Marmite.

Contents

History

In 1919, prior to the introduction of Vegemite, Sanitarium Health Food Company began manufacturing a version of Vegemite's biggest competitor Marmite, in New Zealand, and shipping it to Australia. Vegemite was invented in 1922[3] by food technologist Dr. Cyril P. Callister when, following the disruption of British Marmite imports after World War I, his employer, the Australian company Fred Walker & Co., gave him the task of developing a spread from the used yeast being dumped by breweries. Callister had been hired by the chairman Fred Walker.[4] Vegemite was registered as a trademark in Australia that same year. The registration was later transferred to Kraft, a US multinational, which has maintained an interest in Vegemite since 1925. Callister used autolysis to break down the yeast cells from waste obtained from the Carlton & United brewery. Concentrating the clear liquid vitamin extract and blending with salt and celery and onion extracts[5] formed a sticky black paste.

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