It was invented 90 years ago and is made from leftover brewers' yeast extract. Or, as one wit put it, it's beer in paste form. It's very healthy. And by gum, I thought, when I first tasted it. It's not just got a kick, it has a taste that stays with you for hours.
When it was first marketed in 1923 it didn't do too well because Australians already had Marmite from England. This led to its name being changed to Parwill with an advertising strategy of: “If Marmite … then Parwill.”
A bit too subtle for Aussies.
But Vegemite eventually did become market leader in Oz and today 22 million jars are sold every year.
I already love Marmite, the spread with the endearing slogan: “Love it or hate it.” But I did wonder why that Vegemite taste stayed with me all day after having it on toast for breakfast.
Was it a special ingredient designed to linger?
Not really, I discovered.
It was because it had stuck to the bristles on my upper lip.
Which is why I would advise anyone with a moustache to have a full facial wash after every serving. Especially if you plan on kissing a lady.
Unless, that is, you really do want the taste to linger all day and don't mind sharing it.