Thursday, 12 August 2010
Marmite - an enquiry into the delicacy...
As the Speaker's wife has decided that she's a Marmite person, I assume she means that she's an acquired taste - loved by some, loathed by the rest. (Isn't a 'Bercow' some sort of statuesque ladies foundation garment or something...?)
What I want to know though, is why has Marmite become so runny?
When I was a Scroblet in the years after WW2, I could generally cope with Marmite, it could burn the top of your mouth and probably was fed it because somehow it was nearly a staple then, and acceptable at any table. However, I can easily remember that when I stuck my knife into the pot, to scoop out a dollop to spread it on the bread, it would leave a sharp indentation on the surface, which would last until the next teatime, and also leave my slice of bread (sometimes cut by my dear Aunt Con, who always liked it 'stale', and would hold the loaf under her arm to slice same), in tatters with crumbs all over the table and shrieks of indignation from yours truly!
Marmite wasn't runny then!
ED was a Marmite Baby, but YD took the title with Oak Leaves, and could put a couple of points on Unilever's share price most afternoons, just before Blue Peter! Mrs S still lives on Marmite, and, after a ten year dalliance with Vegemite, I'm back on the British brown stuff with a vengeance. I even saw a limited edition 'aged' version in Tesco recently!
But, why is today's Marmite so runny?
I think Bill Bryson referred to it as 'a brown substance or paste much loved by the British', or similar. And I suppose it is really. For that matter, I never understood the appeal of corn syrup, or bagels back then, but when we were in the US last, their breakfasts in dedicated restaurants beat anything stewed up by Little Chef into a cocked crash helmet! So at least Bill B. didn't lose the attention of half the poulation, and get bashed up by the rest of us!
So the runny Marmite question still needs to be resolved!
We've tried the squeezy plastic pots, and they gum up pretty damn quick, so we're back on the jars. We've yet to try the Marmite Oat Biccies as well. But we're totally addicted to Marmite on Multi-grain Ryvita! Mrs S would kill for the same every day, and would commit a huge felony if it was ever unavailable. She is unable to shed any light on the subject, and what's worse, I'm also in a quandary, because I immediately think that it has been diluted in some way...
And that's not British is it!