Saturday, 21 December 2013

Marmite crisps

So, to celebrate my birthday I bought from the lovely newsagent down the road a 32.5g packet of Marmite flavour crisps. I hadn't seen Marmite flavour crisps in ages, and it turns out that Terry had never seen them at all. I think he was a bit annoyed I finished them all for my elevensies this morning and all I brought home was the empty packet. Which smelled quite strongly of Marmite.

If you know and love Marmite you'll want to know that these crisps really taste of Marmite. Oh how these taste of Marmite. This is a pretty ordinary, perhaps slightly thinner style of crisp with a load of delicious Marmite flavour dust speckled all over them. And I know I over-use this word but: yum.

These are pretty good. And the packaging is oh so Marmitey. If you never saw a jar of Marmite spread you could recognise it from the crisp packaging.

Marmite is a very dark brown spread made from the yeast left over from the brewing industry. It's vegetarian. Maybe even vegan? They also sell Marmite in Australia and New Zealand (made in NZ) but it's not the same product. Nearly but not the same. My mother brought me up to believe that if I felt ill a mug of hot Marmite would make me feel better. And it was true. Well, you know, she brainwashed me. But New Zealand Marmite looks all milky and weird if you add boiling water and I can personally report that it doesn't cure all known ills the way UK Marmite does. Or is this just me?

And then there's a similar thing called Bovril which is made of beef (originally called Johnston's Fluid Beef - yuk eh?). I believe there were once Bovril flavour crisps, but I think no longer. And then in Australia they have Vegemite which is, I gather, made of not vegetables at all but yeast. Fancy that. I think the Australian version of Smiths make Vegemite chips (crisps).

I never attempted hot Vegemite but I used to know someone who drank hot Bovril on purpose and added milk. Eeuww! Equally eeuww! during the Siege of Ladysmith (Second Boer War) a substitute Bovril was produced using boiled down horse and called Chevril. Well I guess you eat anything if you're besieged. The story of Bovril seems a bit complicated because sometimes it's not made of beef at all but yeast. Just like Marmite. But Marmite is best.

Anyway, both Marmite and Bovril are now made by Unilever. So we'll leave it at that. Except the Swiss make a thing called Cenovis which comes in a tube and was developed in a small town called Rheinfelden (I've been there!) which has a huge brewery. Are we surprised to find it's made of yeast? It's OK but I'll stick with Marmite.

And I enjoyed these crisps.

Update: here's a multi pack packet. I quite like the hearts.

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