For the North American palette, it’s hard to understand why New Zealanders are crazy over their Marmite (and similarly, Aussies with their Vegemite). On first taste, it’s a pretty ghastly concoction (ok, and maybe on fifth taste too). But while living in Australia, I got used to the taste and even went through a couple of small jars over two years. The trick was doing it right. Loads of butter, a thin spread of Vegemite/Marmite, and slabs of aged cheddar (what they call “tasty” cheese) was my preferred method.
But I have a feeling that it’s more of an identity thing than anything else. There are some seriously passionate debates raging between Marmite and Vegemite which, for all intents and purposes, is New Zealand vs. Australia. Just have a look at this video to see what I mean:
But all debate aside, this is Marmite’s time. According to the NZ Herald, Marmite is celebrating their 100th year in New Zealand by sending 100 ex-pat Kiwis back home. New Zealanders are encouraged to enter themselves — convincing judges why they deserve to be flown home in December — or to nominate someone else abroad. All entries are voted on by the public, but will also be judged by the folks at Marmite. They’re looking for both quality (how convincing/original entrants are) and quantity (how popular your entry is).
An important note: This is a ONE-WAY TICKET. They are paying to bring home Kiwis, not send them back out.
To see just how nuts they are for their Marmite, check out some of the contest entries.
[Image: Kent Fredric / Flickr]