Phew! The great Marmite panic is over and our kitchen cupboards/supermarket shelves/emergency bunkers are rammed and bursting with yeasty goodness once more. But it’s got us thinking... how much do we really know about the origins of the ultimate food stuff we love/hate to hate/love?
Could we be doing more with it than simply daubing it on our toast in the morning? Is it really worth that 12.5% price hike?
Here are 10 things you may have never known about the most sought-after substance ever to be stuffed into a yellow-lidded jar.
1. Marmite was invented by accident.
During the late 19th century, German scientist Justus von Leiberg discovered that brewer’s yeast (used to produce beer) could be concentrated, bottled and eaten. The Marmite Company was founded in Burton-on-Trent in 1902.
2. It’s named after a French casserole dish.
The tub’s label still features an image of its earthenware predecessor (pronounced ‘mar-meet’).
3. Nigella Lawson uses it as a sub for spaghetti sauce.
You may not always have a fridge packed with exotic fresh produce but you always have spaghetti, butter, cheese and Marmite, right? So try this genius hack next time you need a quick and easy pre-payday dinner.
4. Cheryl credits her flawless complexion to it.
Bet you thought the singer’s radiant glow was down to her (alleged) pregnancy, didn’t you? Think again. Last year, she told Stella magazine that she swore by avocado, water and… plenty of Marmite.
5. It’s banned in Denmark.
Cheryl may be a fan of Marmite’s vitamin fortifications, but the Danish government aren’t so keen. In 2011, they introduced a nationwide ban on the spread, a single serving of which provides 40% of your RDA of vitamin B12 and 50% of your daily folic acid requirements. British nutritionists assure us, however, that it is “virtually impossible” to overdose on Marmite. Phew.
6. Britney loves it in an Irish stew.
[photo: Connoisseurus Veg]
She even asked for the recipe. Veggie? Why not sneak some into this beef(less) stew… or you could stick it in your soup, chilli, shepherd’s pie, stir fry… Yep, the possibilities are well and truly endless.
7. It’s a tried-and-trusted hangover cure - in Sri Lanka.
But it’s gotta be hot - dissolved in boiling water and lime juice and accompanied by a fried, sliced onion. Um, yum?
8. It repels mosquitoes.
Some experts believe that eating Marmite can turn you into a human bug repellant, thanks to its high concentration of niacin (vitamin B3) and other B vitamins. Others disagree though, so don’t rely on it…
9. You can turn it white.
According to scientists (and this YouTube user), if you repeatedly tap a glob of Marmite with a spoon, it’ll gradually turn white. Why? Well, you’re basically whipping it, causing tiny bubbles to form. And the more bubbles it produces, the less light it absorbs. Mind. blown.
10. It’s not just for savouries.