Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Marmite, white toast and tea
Nobody sits on the fence when it comes to Marmite. I am a Marmite lover. Many of my friends are haters; their loss. Invented by a German, named after a French stewpot and owned by Anglo-Dutch conglomerate Unilever, we Brits like to view Marmite as quintessentially English. (It’s not: there are plenty of other brands on sale around the world.) It seems to be a taste you acquire as a toddler. Presumably my mum was a Marmite lover too who didn’t think feeding me Marmite soldiers* qualified as neglect. Comforting, restorative and non-fattening, Marmite on toast fights the chill after a winter walk. It’s also peculiarly effective for hangovers. Perhaps something to do with all the B vitamins it contains.

Here are some tips for Marmite newbies. I doubt haters can be turned around but if you’re inclined to try again, here’s what you should know.

Chart: Correct Marmite Proportions For ToastBread
You’re looking for a crispy outside hiding a fluffy inside. A plump, white bloomer will do it although I wouldn’t ever pass up thick-sliced Mother’s Pride. As a kid, I liked unfolding its crinkly, wax paper wrapper. Nowadays sliced bread flaps around in a plastic bag. It can’t be healthy.

Marmite is salty, so unsalted butter is the thing here. Apply it to a tolerable thickness while the toast is still hot. 

The classic mistake made by Marmite novices and, I suspect, some haters is to spread it too thick. Gah! Now your tongue is welded to the top of your mouth. No. You need an ultra-thin layer. Learn to scrape it on.

The marriage of Marmite and coffee will always be an unhappy one. Only tea will do. 

Lover or hater? Time to get off the fence.

*Marmite soldiers: fingers of Marmite on toast narrow enough to dip in a soft-boiled egg.

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