Sunday, August 31, 2008

Vegemine® - wonder food? For me and the Aussies it is.

VEGIMITE's official website.

Remember it being mentioned in the Men at Work song "Land Down Under?"

Is it a vegetable or a mite? It’s not either. Actually, thank God it’s not a mite.

On my list of things to try in Australia, were kangaroo meat and Vegemite®. I have had numerous chances to grill a nice kangaroo steak but, I’ve always managed to give a somewhat valid excuse why not to taste it. My husband is more adventurous than I will ever be, and he prepared – because I refused to even handle it – a nice piece of tenderloin. I bought it for him one day, stored it in the fridge and avoided even looking at it. I don’t know why. I just know that it was very red, very lean, and on the package it was very clear it was kangaroo. How could I eat a kangaroo? I can’t… maybe I will eventually, but for now I simply can’t.

So, you ask if I’ve tried Vegemite? I have indeed. The irony here is that my husband refuses to try it. It’s not very visually appealing to him and, because of that he refuses to even think of trying it. Go figure!

I learned a long time ago, from that Aussie ambassador of culture – Elle McPherson – while she was being interviewed by Jay Leno, about something very important, I’m sure… that, the proper way to enjoy Vegemite, was to spread it very thin on a piece of buttered toast and, then of course to be eat it.

The way Miss McPherson explained it, that’s the way I ate it. It’s good. It really is very tasty! I expected something incredibly vile, and was pleasantly surprised by it’s –
though, a tad bit salty – by it’s good flavour. I couldn’t get enough of it, the first week I got to Australia. I would prepare the family a meal, and I would just eat a Vegemite sandwich, or two. I decided to cut back a bit, when it dawned on me that perhaps all that white bread and butter were not so good for me. I have discovered a plethora of recipes and other handy uses for the ebony coloured sticky stuff.

Some uses aren’t officially endorsed by the official Vegemite website, but are interesting none-the-less:

1. Dab a little bit on a mouth ulcer and it’ll take care of it super fast.

2. Use as fishing bait.

3. When short of grease, for a squeaky wheel. This doesn’t make sense – Vegemite is not greasy.

4. Spread thinly onto whole body to produce a fake tan effect. Why pay those expensive salons for the same effect?

5. Use a small amount to flavour soups and sauces.

6. Emergency snack when you don’t have lunch with you at work. I know… I’m always forgetting lunch, and then I get light headed. Thank God for Vegemite!

7. Eat Vegemite every day and you won’t be depressed. Well, maybe. Apparently vitamin B is a natural combatant against the blues. Vegemite claims to be “one of the world’s richest known sources of vitamin B.”

And there are endless other uses or benefits to this wonder food from Down Under. I say, find it… try it… and broaden your palate horizons. Who knows, you might like it so much, that you’ll ask me to ship you cases and cases of the stuff, throughout the year. Hey, that’s a good idea! That should be another “use/benefit” of Vegemite… “helps Gordana start a new business.”

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