Sunday, 27 March 2011
The iconic taste of Marmite
What to put on my toast and matzos when it's Lent and I'm off meat and dairy products? The answer is of course Marmite, something that's so quintessentially English. Unfortunately, it doesn't travel (culturally) and has failed to find mass-market demand for it here.
No longer can you find Marmite on the World Foods section in Tesco. I bought this 125g jar at Kuchnie Świata last week for a whopping 16 zlotys (£3.50); in the UK it retails for around £1.25. Kuchnie Świata is not cheap, but a mark-up of this size on this product suggests ultra-low sales in Poland. As the advert for Marmite used to go, "you either love it or you hate it". I've yet to meet a Pole who likes Marmite. And yet, as a (biological) Pole, I love Marmite. Maybe because I grew up with it, enjoying it as a child, spread on toast. Or drinking it as a hot beverage, a spoonful dissolved in boiling water. That childhood pleasure of the salty, tangy taste remains.
Marmite is made from the sludge left over from brewing beer, I remember from a brewery visit to Burton-on-Trent. If you've never tried Marmite - give it a go. You'll not be indifferent to it!