Yeast Extract
BE Marmite Yeast Extract

If you have a British or Australian friend, you probably have heard about yeast extract! If not, I am not so sure.

It is safe to say that Marmite, most popular brand, is to the British culture as the peanut butter is to the American culture.

But what exactly is this?

Marmite is a dietary supplement, a spread usually used sparingly on toast or in a sandwich, made from the waste yeast from beer brewing. It is so related to the Great Britain that many failed to learn that this product was invented by German chemist Baron Justus von Liebig in the late 19th century.

As soon as the new century came, the Gilmour family started the first commercial production of yeast extract, using local breweries. The name came from a French cooking pot called ‘la marmite’.

When the vitamins were discovered around 1912, the sales of this spread took a boost, as the extract is a rich source of the vitamin B complex. And since deficiency of this specific vitamin was very common during World War I, the extract became part of the troop rations, becoming even more popular.

Nowadays this brand is part of the giant Unilever group.

New Zealand has its own version of Marmite, produced by a second company and distribute on the region. Australia has its version named Vegemite. Germans have its own version called Vitam-R and the Swiss call it Cenovis.

Yeast extract has an intense flavor, salty but a hint of sweetness, too. This strong taste generates strong opinions about it too. You either love or hate it!

I know people who can’t stand the smell and there are some passionate fans!

I was able to taste it and didn’t like it. I read in some blog that it could add some taste in meat recipes…I will try.

If you don’t live in one of the countries mentioned above, you might still find in the imported goods area of your grocery store.

Taste it and have your own opinion!

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