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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