Vegemite is Vegan

It’s Tasty Tuesday…. and it’s my day to post and I realize I haven’t made anything particularly delicious or profound that  I haven’t all ready posted. Bummer.

Enter the Vegemite Sandwich, yes it’s the same one as in Men at Work song “The Land Down Under” (Do you like how my counter-top is still smattered with flour from my artisan bread obsession?)

I lived in Australia for 2 years in my early 20′s and went to University there. Funnily enough, before I moved to Australia, I had been a vegetarian for two years for health reasons. The first night I spent upon arrival in Sydney was at a friend’s house who had spent hours making a fancy dinner…..that was full of ALL KINDS OF MEAT. There was a lamb and rocket salad, a beef lasagna with bechamel, a broccoli salad with bacon and pancetta, I’m pretty sure there were some prawns present too. I was trying to be polite and eat bits of rocket that weren’t touching the lamb and did the same with the broccoli salad. I am sure my host thought I was pretty rude and after all her prep, I didn’t have the heart to tell her I was a vegetarian. It probably looked pretty suspicious that after only eating a few bites of her lovingly prepared meal I completely devoured several slices of her chocolate mud cake for dessert. Sorry Shona & Richard!

I’m digressing! While in Australia, I fell in love with the Vegemite Sandwich, I would pack it for lunch almost every day while at Uni and would have it on whole grain bread with a smear of margarine and a slice of tasty cheese (yes the cheese was tasty, but in Australia that’s what it’s actually called). I also met and married my sweetheart while I lived there.

I stopped being a vegetarian while living in Australia because I was living with family members who weren’t vegetarian and preparing separate meals was too difficult.  Now that I’m back on the vegetarian bandwagon for serious health concerns and have taken it to the extreme by going vegan (or plant-based) , I am finding it harder and harder to walk next to the meat aisle in a grocery store. All my reading and recent education have convinced me that I will be vegan for life, not just for my health but because I feel like it’s better for the planet (and the animals, who really probably don’t want to be eaten). I’m okay with that because I’m loving the plant-based lifestyle and feel better than I have in years, so that makes me pretty happy!

One thing that Vegans need to supplement their diet with is Vitamin B. You can get it from Nutritional Yeast, from a vitamin supplement, or if you are really brave, you can get it from Vegemite. If you’ve never had it, the best way I can describe it is that it’s a savory spread that tastes a bit like concentrated soy sauce. My husband says it could last through a nuclear bomb and still retain its nutritional content. My daughter asks me to pack it in her school lunch nearly every day. We are a Happy Little Vegemite loving family!

Don’t spread it thick like peanut butter, you will gag! You just need a very thin smear! For those of you who love Earth Balance, a little smear of that would be good too.

It’s a beautiful tasty thing.

A little bit of History off the back of my Vegemite Jar: “Vegemite – Australian Born and Bred. The Vegemite story started in 1923 after war had delayed supplies of imported yeast extracts. [Marmite perhaps?] Fred Walker, a business visionary and founder of Fred Walker & Co. enlisted the support of Dr. Cyril P. Callister, a brilliant young scientist, to create an Australian made yeast spread. After many attempts they developed a spread that would fit the bill. But what to call it? The company could not decide so they ran a fair way to decide the winner. Fred’s daughter Sheilah [SO Australian!] pulled a name from a hat. That name was “Vegemite” and an Australian icon was born. At the same time Fred Walker joined forces with a Canadian, James Kraft, to start a joint venture company- [who thought Kraft was American? Me!] The Kraft Walker Cheese company. Vegemite has been made in Melbourne since 1923. And it is from here that we continue to put a rose in every cheek.”

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21 thoughts on “Vegemite is Vegan

    • I think it’s probably an acquired taste. I have been eating it so long I honestly don’t remember what I originally thought of it! I will bring you a Vegemite Sandwich on artisan bread when I stop by this afternoon with your stuff ;)

    • Super similar! My husband thinks there is a flavor difference, but I don’t notice it. Vegemite is usually found in specialty or foreign food stores, we picked up a bunch when we went to Australia last summer.

      • Thanks. Our food co-op carries Marmite. I’ll give it a go. You know I’ll try anything. And house rules say we have to try it twice, so I guess I’ll try anything twice. :-)

      • Awesome! Vegemite is Australian, Marmite is British. If you aren’t in love with it, you can always use it in recipes – I hear that either one makes a great substitute for vegan worcestershire sauce. you would probably need a 1/2 teaspoon of marmite for each tablespoon of worcestershire. Let me know what you think! Remember, less is more!

    • I will bring some to Ragnar! But we can only try it AFTER we are all done running, just in case anyone decides to start tossing pancakes and vegemite!

    • It is probably an acquired taste, but I love it! We have lots of people sample it when they come over, to be honest I don’t think anyone loves it on first try, however, Australians eat it like its chocolate. I knew one family who went through a peanut butter sized jar a week. It takes our family a year to get through a jar that size!

  1. Okay.. I’ll bite as well. Look at how you’re helping so many people be brave and try something new and scary…. all while doing the safety dance. I do like savory and soy saucy, so I’m going to take a look for it and give it a try!

    • You might not be sorry ;) Let me know what you think!!!
      p.s. I’m updating this post to include a little history about Vegemite in a couple of minutes….

  2. Great post. Yes I carry it around with me when I go overseas. For people who do not like it, maybe if you put a thin spread on your bread or toast you may like it better than a think spread. I also use it for a brown gravy recipe. I add only a small amount and it tastes great.

  3. Pingback: Not so Tasty Tuesday and a Vegemite Giveaway (Yes, it’s vegan) « Good Clean Food

  4. Love that I’ve found your site – you have some great posts. I have grown up on vegemite and love it, but vegemite doesn’t have B12 in it (only B1, B2, B3 and folate), but marmite does – it is added after manufacturing. And, very sadly, it may contain GM ingredients – Kraft won’t confirm it is GM free so it is on an avoid list on the True Food Network’s guide to GM foods. But there is a dark miso that tastes uncannily like vegemite, so it may be a good alternative if organic, preferably unpasterised as it will be loaded with B12.

    • Bummer, I have a giant old jar we have been working our way to the bottom of (It’s expired and the husband won’t let me toss it, he says vegemite could last through all time AND a nuclear blast) I swear it says B-12 on the nutrition label. Maybe the formula has changed. Bummer about the GMO too, I also noticed artificial coloring. I think it’s one of those things that I’m gonna have to say “Not everything I consume has to be perfect” It’s hard enough trying to be vegan, eat mostly organic and high raw….

      Thanks for your thoughts!

  5. I have never tried Vegemite either, but have wanted to ever since I heard that Men at Work song! I think most of my favorite foods fall under the categories of “weird” or “acquired taste,” so that’s a good sign, right? Lol

    • “He just smiled and made me a vegemite sandwich” Love it! And yes, that you like weird foods that are developed through acquired taste is a good sign that you’ll like vegemite :)

      Thanks for entering!

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