1. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    Glad to hear that vegemite might actually be useful…

    *ducks and waves white flag at the Aussies*

    *Sticks head up. Video link didn’t work*

  2. Fil says

    For best results with Vegemite on Jesus, may I suggest toasting the cracker first?

    Listen for the Jesus screams and when he hits high C it should be done.

    Maybe get Lucy to do the toasting, so you don’t make a mess of it PZ. ;-)

    Welcome to Oz by the way, and watch out for the Scientologists, who are on a roll (not a cracker)…our federal Senate gave the bastards a pass yesterday.

    Much disappointment.

  3. Your Mighty Overload says

    I find it just wonderful that you carry a small number of consecrated Jesus crackers about with you. Ahh, for the man who has everything……

  4. David Marjanović says

    The cramps in my face… ow…

    He carries a pack o’ frackin’ crackers?!

    He said so recently. They keep vampires and the Catholic League away.

  5. happy_heyoka says

    Highly recommended method:

    1. obtain fresh sour dough Casalinga bread
    2. obtain butter (or your favourite alternative)
    3. cut thick (optionally toasted) slices
    4. spread butter liberally – or conservatively – vegemite is strictly a non-partisan activity
    5. spread vegemite thinly for beginners
    6. repeat daily for at least 40 years

    Skip the crackers and wine, this method carries no guarantees of transport to any afterlife, but your tastebuds will get close…

  6. squealpiggy says

    Vagemite is rank, as is marmite.

    Ha, I made a typo – I was going to change it but I like it the way it is!

  7. Qwerty says

    You should have brought some Minnesota-made Spam to go with your Vegemite and consecrated cracker.

  8. says

    Oh dear. Here we go again.

    Personally I think a Hoax-cracker would be the way to go. Generate the outrage, then point out after the death threats that it was just a rice cracker consecrated by Mr Deity.

    “Oh, it wasn’t Jesus. Sorry!”

    “Neither was the other cracker!”

    Could make for a regular gig. “He’s eating another cracker… Is it..? I don’t know! Should I…? Arrggghh!” Great way to seed doubt.

  9. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    OK, I’m intensely curious. What does Vegemite taste like? Is there any food you could compare it to that someone who has not had Vegemite might recognize? Is it anything like nutritional yeast?

  10. Blondin says

    Weeeeeeeeeee’re happy little Vegemites as bright as bright can be.
    We all enjoy our Vegemite and commiting blasphemy.
    Our mommies say we’re more sacriligious every single week
    Because we love our Vegemite, we all enjoy our Vegemite.
    It puts a rose in every cheek!

  11. ibyea says

    I am still not convinced that vegemite isn’t ghastly. It looks like recipe for food poisoning. Let’s see what happens in a week…

  12. Rorschach says

    Offended xtian concern troll and general media whine in 3…2…1…

    Off to lunch !

  13. Romeo Vitelli says

    “Is it anything like nutritional yeast?”

    Vegemite is made from yeast extract but has a taste all its own. P.Z’s lack of faith that anything can be that horrible must have been put to the test.

  14. Milawe says

    I can’t think of anything that vegemite really tastes like, if you were to think of mushed up olives on toast, you’d have similar saltiness and depth of flavour, but they’re not equivalent.

  15. Great Waves says

    Vegemite on toast with a little melted butter. Heaven. PZZZZ, come to Sydney.

  16. Blondin says

    Lets be clear here. Vegemite is not the same as Marmite.
    Marmite is delicious as most of Britain will attest.

    One day a bloke happens to mention to an old jackaroo that he hasn’t had a dump for 3 days. The wizened old cobber says he knows just the trick for constipation: “Go get a gum leaf off that tree over there, smear some Vegemite on one side and spread some Marmite on the other. Then tuck that little beauty up between yer arse-cheeks, crack a cold one & set yourself on the porch for a spell. That’ll get things movin’ right quick.”

    So the fella gets the gum leaf, puts Vegemite on one side & Marmite on the other and tucks it up against his little red starfish. Sure enough, just as he’s finishing his tinny, he feels a strong urge and just barely makes it to the dunny in time.

    Later that afternoon he sees the old jackaroo carrying some gear to the shed so he thanks him for the advice and tells him how well it worked. “But I just have to know why you have to put Vegemite on one side and Marmite on the other?”

    The old fella adjusts his hat & squints at the ground, “Well, to be honest, you coulda’ used either one on both sides. I just wanted to prove that no arsehole can tell the difference.”

  17. chuckgoecke says

    Vegemite is one of the foods derived from spent brewers yeast. What else would go so well with Bier? A former housemate of mine turn me on to putting dried brewer’s yeast on popcorn. It adds a nice flavor, A bit nutty.

  18. Zeno says

    The communion wafer has no taste at all, so you’re getting pure Vegemite! (Is “pure” the right word?)

  19. howard.peirce says

    It’s my understanding that non-North American anglophones (e.g., British, Irish, SA, and ANZAC) find peanut butter disgusting. Is this true?

    (I have also heard that what peanut butter is available in non-North American anglophone shops is, in fact, disgusting, and you can’t get decent peanut butter outside North America. But perhaps that has changed in today’s modern global marketplace.)

    I once saw a British cooking show that did an episode on American food. After showing British viewers how to make the exotic “blueberry muffin” (gas mark 4), the host did a segment on peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches, which she greatly altered to make it palatable to her viewers. I would not have eaten her strange nutpaste-and-strawberry-preserves concoction.

    I have tried both Marmite and Vegemite, and could never find the right proportion of spread/toast that would make the combination edible. On the other hand, give me Jif, Welch’s, and Wonderbread, and I’ll happily eat until I go into a diabetic coma.

    I think the lesson is, if you speak English, there is crap you will spread on bread and eat that anyone else in the world equates with filth.

  20. Sven DiMilo says

    dried brewer’s yeast on popcorn

    wow, takes me back. I had a similar housemate once.



  21. grandtheftigloo says

    I found Marmite at a local shop (in Winnipeg), I may pick some up and give it a try…
    Never seen Vegemite here…

  22. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    rswarr #17

    Marmite is delicious as most of Britain

    I’ve never considered Britain to be tasty. But then I’ve been in Slough and spent a rainy Sunday in Doncaster.

  23. ~Pharyngulette~ says

    What does it taste like? To the Rest Of Us who haven’t been force-fed the nasty stuff since the day of our birth, it tastes like very, very salty grease. Try axle grease with a half-kilo of salt per 100g of grease.

    Foetid stuff. Vile.

    (In case you weren’t sure, I don’t much care for any of those yeast extracts, no matter who makes them.)

  24. grandtheftigloo says

    “Never seen Vegemite here…”

    Red Wine seems to cause bad grammar….

  25. Charlie Foxtrot says

    Toast straight from the toaster, buttered right away(so it starts melting) then a decent wipe of Vegemite which also melts a bit, then straight into the mouth, still standing at the kitchen bench – that’s breakfast nearly every work morning, the day hasn’t started right without it!

    …and I reckon the peanut butter here is alright. Same method as above works for that as well.

    Congrats PZ! Lets see if we can get you to eat some ‘roo now :)

  26. ERV says

    Josh #18– OK, I’m intensely curious. What does Vegemite taste like?
    Take a bottle of Centrum multivitamins. Mix with some beef bullion cubes. Grind it all up. Add a bit of water to turn the powder into paste. Put on bread.

    Thats what Vegemite tastes like, to me.


  27. Phasic says

    Hrm, kalamata olive tapenade is kind of reminiscent.

    Basically, it’s salty and umami. Great smeared on toast. Very thinly, with butter. Some people have it with cheese, and why not? Everything is better with cheese.

    I’ve never tried marmite or promite, but I have heard they are recognisably different.

    Vegemite toast is a traditional hangover cure here too. Apart from the incredible amounts of salt it’s very high in B group vitamins.

  28. Random Mutant says

    It’s my understanding that non-North American anglophones (e.g., British, Irish, SA, and ANZAC) find peanut butter disgusting. Is this true?


    As a kiwi*, I eat peanut butter straight off the teaspoon. Crunchy, without added sugar, is my preferred style. Best on a thick doorstop of almost burnt toast.

    I personally find a lot of North American food disgusting, because of all the additives in it. I mean, here in NZ yoghurt contains milk, skim milk powder, sugar and acidophilus bifidus. The glop I got flying through LA (never again, shudder) contains about 5 lines of ingredients on the side of the pottle. Why does yoghurt need pectin and emulsifiers and high fructose corn syrup??

    * The person, not the bird. If you eat it, it’s a kiwifruit. Or a person. The bird is protected.

  29. Noel says

    Well done, PZ. Perhaps you should take a few jars back with you when you head home.

    Josh, Official SpokesGay said:

    Is there any food you could compare it to that someone who has not had Vegemite might recognize?

    No. No there isn’t.

    My wife is in the first trimester of pregnancy and it’s the only thing she can stomach on toast each morning (before she gets up – I’m a good husband). I always lick the knife afterwards.

  30. Random Mutant says

    I’ve never tried marmite or promite, but I have heard they are recognisably different.

    Marmite in NZ/Aus, Marmite in the UK, Vegemite, Promite and Bovril are all different kinds of salty black tarry food things. They all have distinctive flavours and everyone has their preference. Me, I don’t like Vegemite but like Marmite. I find the Vegemite taste too sharp and the Marmite one smoother. It’s salty and rich and savoury. I think, it’s best on toast with generous butter and medium thickness Marmite- a generous smear but not more than 1 – 1.5 mm thick.

    Hungry now.

  31. howard.peirce says

    Charlie Foxtrot (great handle!) @ 35: Around these parts, peanut butter on buttered toast is usually recommended to cancer patients and people with hypermetabolic disorders. I used to eat it as a kid (thanks, Mom!), and that’s part of the reason I’m obese to this day, even though I haven’t touched the stuff in years.

    Metabolized brewer’s yeast, for all its ghastliness, has the advantage of not being full of fat and sugars (especially high-fructose corn syrup, which you’ll find in commercial North American peanut butters). I just can’t eat it, for cultural reasons, I’m sure.

  32. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Fascinating, thanks all, for the good and bad descriptions! Sounds like one of those things you’ve got to taste to decide about. I’m betting equal chances I’d find it delicious, or the most vile thing this side of used toilet paper.

  33. says

    The best way to get foreign adults to truly appreciate vegemite is to go to a cafe one morning and order them a takeaway “Turkish Veg” (or, in long form, toasted turkish bread with vegemite).

    This technique was recommended to me by a friend I used to work with who did not grow up eating the black stuff. He now loves his turkish veg, and has gotten several of his former vegemite hating friends onto it.

    There’s just something about toasted turkish bread that makes vegemite even more right than it was before.

  34. robertdw says

    Aratina Cage @ 14 –

    Vegemite isn’t black; it’s a very dark brown. It’s looking black because of the lighting.

  35. Phasic says

    I grew up with peanut butter in the house, and it didn’t seem unusual. That’s not really an extra data point, though, as I grew up in the same house as Charlie Foxtrot. It was an anglophile Australian house, though, and I’m sure it was never mixed with jam.

    Australian peanut butter (I’m willing to bet) has far fewer additives than American peanut butter. I’m no expert, though, as I avoid peanut butter since it makes my airways swell up in an unpleasant manner. And it smells bad.

  36. Charlie Foxtrot says

    “hypermetabolic disorders”? Does that include breast-feeding? When my Significant Other was breast-feeding our first she was going through a jar of peanut butter pretty much every three days or so – she barely touched it ever before that, and never since.
    The Vegemite was raided pretty heavily during that time as well, as I recall.

  37. Phasic says

    Nice to see you paying attention, Charlie Foxtrot. :-P

    See you in a few hours for beers.

  38. Finch says

    Marmite’s better. Go New Zealand!

    My mum says that here in the US, you can’t find good marmite, it doesn’t taste the same as stuff from NZ. She has my grandparents bring flats of it when they come visit.

  39. Ichthyic says

    Fascinating, thanks all, for the good and bad descriptions! Sounds like one of those things you’ve got to taste to decide about. I’m betting equal chances I’d find it delicious, or the most vile thing this side of used toilet paper.

    it’s like your first beer… tastes horrible at first, then, all of a sudden, you get a craving for it.

    I was exposed to marmite my second week in NZ.

    the person who said it tasted like ground multi-vits is basically right, but it’s a bit more nuanced and less minerally tasting. You’d think that sounds disgusting and yet…

    one of my favorite sandwiches here now is sliced, ripe avocado with marmite, mayo, and smoked paprika on toasted multigrain bread.

    go figure.

  40. jeyradan says

    PZ, you’ve got to try Marmite next. They’re not at all the same, and though they’re both good, I’ve noticed that a lot of people who “tolerate” Vegemite can’t seem to handle Marmite as well (read: cough, gag, spit). It’s brilliant, though, and probably wonderful on a nice cracker.

  41. howard.peirce says

    Hrmm… Phasic and Charlie F.: Here, in most grocery stores, you can go to the organics/health food section and get “natural peanut butter.” I actually like it, and when I buy peanut butter, this is what I usually buy. But “real” American peanut butter, the stuff I grew up on, is in a different part of the store with “jelly,” fruit preserves (jam) and refined sugar. George Washington Carver, the amazing Afro-American botanist and inventor, is to blame. He came up with a method for hydrogenating peanut oil and suspending ground peanut solids and sugars in it to produce a shelf-stable product. It’s like peanut-flavored Crisco, with sugar. When I say that non-North American peanut butter is disgusting, I’m referring to the “natural” ground peanut product that people outside North America regularly consume.

    Both ground peanut and the shelf-stable, sweetened peanut oil with additives product are referred to as “peanut butter,” but any American kid with a tan ring smeared around his mouth can tell you the difference. One is hipster food; the other is a basic American staple.

    Just to take this thread in a new direction, let’s compare yeast spreads and peanut spreads to hazelnut spreads like Nutella. Europeans, crazy, or what?

  42. Phasic says

    Nutella is so bad for you. And yet, so yummy…

    Seriously, hydrogenated oils and fats will fuck up your cell membranes. And you don’t want your membranes fucked with, since they are important for things like seeing, and thinking, and so on.

  43. Koshka says

    Vegemite is usually loved or hated. When you give it to a foreigner for their first taste it is disappointing if they like it – it is fun to see someone screw up their face and claim “What is that shit!”

  44. Moenen says

    Vegemite is a lot like religion. Unless you’re introduced to it at a very young age, you’ll never get into it. If you get exposed to it for the first time as an adult you’re just puzzled and you don’t understand all the fuss about this distasteful practice.

  45. chuckgoecke says

    Trouble with a lot of people is that they can’t take intense flavors. (I call them light weights!) It’s something you’ve got to work yourself up to, if you can’t take it right away. First get off the white bread and noodles. Eat some food with color. Eat lots of veggies, and start progressing through some of the stronger flavored ones like Brussels sprouts and other Cruciferous vegetables, hot peppers (there’s a whole progression), and bitter ones like bitter melon, and unusual ones, like durian fruit ( ). Then try some savory things like strong cheeses, from extra sharp Cheddar to blues and Stilton, and finally smoked fish have some intense flavors, like smoked salmon, whitefish, and some of the caviars. Don’t give your taste buds any relief, they’re here to give you pleasure! And be adventurous. Bland foods are for kids and sissy’s, and I’m not talking about drag queens, they rock.

  46. Die Anyway says

    Hey Mr. Diety… PZ just took another bite. We’re going to need a lot more Jesus.

  47. Noel says

    Kraft tried to ‘reinvent’ Vegemite by adding cream cheese, then holding a naming competition.

    The ‘winning’ entry was iSnack 2.0

    Australia was temporarily disabled by alternating convulsions of laughter and disgust.

  48. Xenithrys says

    Two thoughts about Vegemite:

    The wizened old cobber says he knows just the trick for constipation: “Go get a gum leaf off that tree over there, smear some Vegemite on one side and spread some Marmite on the other.”

    This is Doctrine of Signatures. Looks like shit, so it makes you shit.

    Secondly, PZ, try it in a sandwich with lettuce on soft rye or wholemeal bread. A little sliced spring onion helps too.

  49. Snoof says

    Vegemite recipe time!

    Lightly toast some bread, smear it with a little vegemite, lay some thinly-sliced cheese (decent Cheddar works well) on top, and grill it until the cheese bubbles. Delicious. You can add sliced tomato too, that goes well.

    …ok, it’s not much of a recipe. I still like it.

  50. kieran.pegler says

    A teaspoon or so of vegemite in a stew is a great way to add a bit of flavour. Works good in stirfry as well.

  51. Phasic says

    Now I’m craving avocado and vegemite. Thanks a lot. Do you people understand how expensive avocados are at the moment?

  52. F says

    Now you folks are making me hungry.

    I think the lesson is, if you speak English, there is crap you will spread on bread and eat that anyone else in the world equates with filth.


  53. Charlie Foxtrot says

    iSnack 2.0

    Did anybody actually try that?

    I just had a quick Google and found the list of ingredients for a typical brand of peanut butter that is found in the same section of the supermarket here, typically between the Vegemite and strawberry jams:

    “Freshly Roasted Peanuts (85%), vegetable oil, sugar, salt”

    and while I’ve got my Google on…
    Yeast Extract, Salt, Mineral Salt (508), Malt Extract (From Barley, Colour(150?), (Contains preservative 220), Flavours, Niacin, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Folate


  54. says

    Oooh, I can hear Bill Donohoe now. “Vegemite! Idolaters! Blasphemers! Only Marmite is good enough for jeebus.”

  55. says

    Vegemite is the best hangover cure so PZ, when you finally drink some local beer (with real alcohol), my recommendation is toast with a tiny smear of butter and vegemite instead of hair of the dog.

    Oh and it’s great with cheese for lunch on your sandwiches.

  56. krc [] says

    Jif extra crunchy peanut butter (typical American PB) – roasted peanuts, sugar, contains 2% or less of the following: molasses, fully hydrogenated vegetable oils (rapeseed and soybean) mono- and diglycerides, salt

    Adams 100% Natural Peanut Butter, unsalted, crunchy (easy to find, at least in the American west, but not that commonly used) – Peanuts

    Personally, like the taste of both, but I try to stick with Adams (and that was what my family had growing up).

  57. howard.peirce says

    Charlie, from the website for Jif (a fairly standard, G. W. Carver-style American peanut butter):

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving Size 2 Tbsp. (32g)
    Calories 190
    Calories from Fat 130
    Amount/Serving %DV *
    Total Fat 16g
    Saturated Fat 3g
    Trans Fat 0g
    Cholesterol 0mg
    Sodium 150mg
    Total Carbohydrate 7g
    Dietary Fiber 2g
    Sugars 3g
    Protein 7g


    Shit’s a fuckin’ fat factory.

  58. Charlie Foxtrot says

    That’s why I stick with the Vege on toast option :)


    Beer o’clock! See some of you soon at the pub, and the convention! I’m outta here!

  59. howard.peirce says

    Crapamole, Charlie, I gotta get to bed if I’m going to work tomorrow. Huzzah for time zones, for what it’s worth. I’d so fucking join you for a beer, in another reality.

  60. aratina cage says

    Vegemite isn’t black; it’s a very dark brown. It’s looking black because of the lighting.

    Thanks for setting me right, robertdw. I had always thought the same thing as Carlie #5 until the vicarious Vegemite snacking seen here today. It reminded me of gelled motor oil, did not look appetizing. But who knows. I’d try it anyway.

  61. middo says

    Vegemite is the processed yeast from the bottom of the vats at CUB in Abbottford. It is obviously good for you because it truely “made from beer”.

    The taste is salty, with a similarity to soy sauce. It is one of the greatest inventions of all time. Teenage boys devour enourmous quantites when they get home from school, on lightly toasted bread with a smear of butter.

  62. Rey Fox says

    Guess I shouldn’t be too surprised at the notion of non-Americans not liking peanut butter, although there hasn’t been much corroboration here. Still, you blokes eat peanuts, right? So what could be wrong with peanut butter?

    I say that because you’d have to pry my Skippy from my cold dead hands.

  63. Fil says

    My father first came across peanut butter in WWII England. He saw some Americans spreading it on toast at an airfield mess.

    It caused one of those profound, visceral WTF??? moments, because he was convinced some guy had just spread shit on his meal (perhaps for a dare) and was about to eat it.

    He had a similar experience when he migrated to Australia years later and tried out Vegemite…except he was the one eating the “shit”. He never tried it again (or peanut butter for that matter).

    Me, I love both, especially on toast, muffins or maybe even a lady love…yummy. :-0

  64. MadScientist says

    That’s cruel and unusual punishment. Those folks ought to be hauled off to the Hague.

  65. Buffybot says

    Marmite is the nectar of the gods. It’s like eating concentrated salty Guinness on hot buttered toast. When Ichthyic and I were ripped to shreds by mosquitoes at my parents’ house, they said it was our own fault for not eating enough Marmite, and that if you eat it every day mosquitoes won’t touch you. Clearly that’s complete insane bullshit, but apparently a lot of people believe it.

  66. says


    The best Hitler downfall parody of all time… (IMHO, and that of my sons…)

    If it doesn’t work (it may require HTML5 compat browser, try “iSnack marketer” in youtube)


  67. Bill says

    Vegemite is divine! And none of this ‘spread it thinly’ crap. Nice soft bread, spread on both sides with margarine and then spread thickly with vegemite. Absolute heaven! Almost makes one believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster or some such nonsense.

    PJ – if you are here in Canberra, I will bring the perfect vegemite sandwich for you.

    If your vegemite looks brown, you have spread it too thin.

    Marmite – bleh! Promite – double bleh!

    In Queensland, we call peanut butter, peanut paste. By either name, I have never liked it, but my wife loves it!

  68. paula says

    we like peanut butter, but not as much as vegemite. I bought American style peanut butter (and made in the US)and the kids refused to eat it. Too sweet, too gooey. They prefer Australian 100% peanut p/butter. we once made PB and J just to see what the fuss was about. no-one would eat them.

  69. LazerP3w says

    Interesting fact Bits-o-Jebus don’t get mold because bacteria are not Christian. Also, Vegemite is not bad, I personally wouldn’t use it often but it had some good applications and nice way to mix a toast-centered breakfast up.

  70. Kristjan Wager says

    Two things:

    1) The best way to eat Vegemite: Spread it thinly on a piece of toast. Throw out said piece of toast. Find something decent to eat.

    I can eat Vegemite, but I am never going to enjoy it.

    2) I am actually surprised that you were allowed to bring in those crackers PZ. For those who don’t know, Australia has very strict quarantine laws, and anything resembling food will generally be taken away and destroyed (non-food items from organic matter will usually just be fumigated).

  71. Caine, Fleur du mal says

    Kristjan Wager @ 89:

    2) I am actually surprised that you were allowed to bring in those crackers PZ. For those who don’t know, Australia has very strict quarantine laws, and anything resembling food will generally be taken away and destroyed (non-food items from organic matter will usually just be fumigated).

    Kristjan, those crackers weren’t food, they’re Jesus! ;)

  72. Xenithrys says

    Pharyngula’s so quiet! I guess the Americans are all asleep and the Aussies are all at the GAC. Nothing for the kiwis but the drinking.

  73. maxamillion says

    @howard.peirce #29

    It’s my understanding that non-North American anglophones (e.g., British, Irish, SA, and ANZAC) find peanut butter disgusting. Is this true?

    You are misinformed!

    I love Peanut Paste/Butter on warm toast topped with honey, hmm.

    Also goes wonderfully with Satay’s

    As someone else pointed out though perhaps what we Aussies call Peanut Butter is not quite the same?

    Oh, what have you started howard.peirce, I now know more abut f’ing peanuts than I ever expected to.

    Why the product is called “Peanut Paste” in Queensland where I live

    A brief history of damn peanuts in Oz.

    A brand of Peanut Butter in the USA, called of all things “Skippy”
    Oh, the irony.

  74. johno says

    now, I’ve been involved in all the great religious and scientific debates that the world can throw at us, but there is nothing more vociferous as the argument between an aussie espousing vegemite, and a brit espousing marmite.

    there’s only one way to sort it out…
    fight, fight, fight!

  75. Geoffrey says

    You’re in Australia, eating vegemite and no one’s even mentioned Pratchett?

    And you call yourselves enlightened.

  76. MadScientist says

    @Josh: Yeah, nutritional yeast will be close, but if my repressed memory is not too vague it’s more sour due to the acids (including vitamins) than yeasty-tasting. I think it’s processed from yeast – “yeast feces” might be appropriate. I’d rather have bee puke on my toast any day.

    @maximillion: Peanut butter used to simply be finely ground peanuts; the oil from the peanut was enough to make a paste which was easy to spread (but which glued your mouth shut). These days cheap vegetable oil is added along with a ton of salt, producing a salty greasy goo which only vaguely resembles the original. I’ve seen a few nut shops selling the freshly made stuff – I think it’s worth paying for, but you must eat it fairly quickly because it has no antioxidants and thus turns rancid in only a few months.

  77. negentropyeater says

    2) I am actually surprised that you were allowed to bring in those crackers PZ. For those who don’t know, Australia has very strict quarantine laws, and anything resembling food will generally be taken away and destroyed (non-food items from organic matter will usually just be fumigated).

    I’m quite sure PZ declared them and paid the fees to get them fumigated or irradiated to make them safe.

    Kristjan, those crackers weren’t food, they’re Jesus! ;)

    All mammals, or parts of mammals, food or not, live or not, are subject to quarantine.

    The Australian Quarantine Inspection Services brochure doesn’t mention Gods and God parts, but I guess we can safely assume that Jesus was also a mammal.

  78. speedweasel says

    Just came from Y&J and drinks with everyone. It was great to meet many of the regulars and some v.nice people I never heard of before. BoS, I owe you a beer! Don’t let me forget.

    Bit drunk, but not to worry. Going to play a couple of hours of Left 4 Dead. Nothing soothes a would-be hangover like shooting zombies.

    mmmm… zombies. Bang! Bang, bang! (.. you get the picture)

  79. kohi-no-tora says

    Peanut butter is definitely eaten in Australia. Though having encountered American peanut butter (in the form of Peanut Butter M&M’s and Reese’s Pieces) I can say it is distinctly different. The thing that struck me as most striking was that it was considerably saltier than the Australian version.

    Though one supermarket chain has recently started selling ‘American Style’ Peanut Butter

  80. the_manxome_foe#a0503 says

    Speaking of the great yeast-extract spread wars, did anyone ever try Aussiemite?

    I seem to recall Dick Smith trying to start a product called Ozemite as a protest to the fact that Vegemite is actually now made by an American company.

    Apparently they had terrible trouble getting ingredients, as all the big breweries had already promised all their yeast poo to Kraft.

    Then this other stuff was registered by some other guy.

  81. MadScientist says

    @kohi-no-tora: US peanut butter seems to have become progressively saltier over the years. Once upon a time I could get peanut butter with no salt (great for those Spanish chocolates), but by the early 1990s I just couldn’t stand any of the brands. Reeses Pieces on the other hand has become progressively more sugary as well as more salty; I suspect it’s now just 50% sugar, 48% salt, with 2% binder and coloring.

  82. Moggie says

    How can people talk about peanut butter, and marmite, without mentioning how well they go together? Toast some bread, spread with butter, then plenty of peanut butter, and finally a thin wipe of marmite. Nom nom nom.

  83. Moggie says


    Fascinating, thanks all, for the good and bad descriptions! Sounds like one of those things you’ve got to taste to decide about. I’m betting equal chances I’d find it delicious, or the most vile thing this side of used toilet paper.

    This is pretty much the angle taken by the current UK advertising for marmite, which emphasises that you either love it or hate it. It’s a little unusual: how often do you see an advert which suggests that you may throw up after consuming their product?

  84. jefrir says

    Peanut butter definitely exists here in the UK, and has done for decades – at least since the thirties, although it may not have been as popular then. The ingredients list from the jar in my cupboard reads “Roasted peanuts (87%), rapeseed oil, sugar, palm oil, salt”. The salt and sugar content do appear to be about two-thirds of that listed for the American version above.
    I definitely second the recommendation of strong cheese as an accompaniement for marmite (cheese also works surprisingly well with peanut butter). Another alternative is cold sausage – next time you have a fry up, save one of the sausages for a sausage and marmite sandwich later.
    PZ, you’ll clearly have to come to England so you can do a proper comparison of vegemite and marmite!

  85. plien says

    I grew up as a hippy kid, so my mum and dad had a stove for cooking and heating. (Iron cascket burning wood, the iron probably kept dog out)

    There are a couple of “snacks” i remember fondly;
    1. bread with butter and ground swiss cheese from the stove.
    2. bread with peanutbutter and marmite form the stove. (marmite is yummy, marmite and peanutbutter is devine)
    3. roasted chessnuts from the stove with butter and a bit salt.

    Everything is better with a stove. :-D

    Nice tidbit. Because of Dutch foodlaws only butter was named butter. With peanutbutter this was a problem. Then they thought about an other foodstuff ‘leverkaas’ -livercheese- which is a luncheonmeat. Then peanutbutter became ‘Pindakaas’ peanutcheese in Dutch. I always buy the organic type, all peanut, sometimes with a little bit salt. I really hate the sweet american style stuff. American “food” has way to much and dodgy ingredients.

  86. Sven DiMilo says

    we once made PB and J just to see what the fuss was about. no-one would eat them.




  87. jivlain says

    PZ, I’ve got to say, I’m terribly offended by this blasphemous act. I mean, seriously, spreading blessed Vegemite over one of those nasty wafers?

  88. Kristjan Wager says

    I’m quite sure PZ declared them and paid the fees to get them fumigated or irradiated to make them safe.

    There aren’t actually any fees for that (unless they’ve introduced them since January). There are, however, very large fines for not declaring organic material.

    There is a lot of stuff they will allow you take in (I’ve brought in almond paste/marzipan in the past without problems), as long as you declare it, and they can check it out.

  89. creating trons says

    Dale #83. That was very funny. If I hadn’t read this post first, I wouldn’t have understood the clip. Hellarious.

  90. davem says

    Marmite is delicious as most of Britain will attest.

    Not this part of Britain. I used to eat it with cress on a sandwich. Not too bad, but there’s a million better ways of making a sandwich. If the Earl of Sandwich had only had Marmite as a filling, the sandwich would never have been invented.

    As to peanut butter – yeuck! If I want my peanuts pre-chewed for me, I’ll eat peanut butter. Until then, I’ll just eat peanuts. Let’s face it, no one here would eat peanuts and bread together, so why spread one on the other?

  91. Androly-San says

    If it sounds like vegetables, it’s not going in my mouth! I don’t care that it’s a beer byproduct!

  92. jennyxyzzy says

    OK. Loads of things to say on this thread :-)

    Firstly – do kiwis not eat Vegemite??? How odd – The last time I bought a jar of Vegemite in London (I live in Paris, but they don’t do Vegemite here, you have to be lucky just to find Marmite), it was marked as being made in New Zealand!

    Secondly, peanut butter. As far as I’m aware, there is no difference between American and Australian peanut butters, at least not anymore – when I was a child, Australian peanut butter would have the oil separate out, but these days it’s completely emulsified, much the same as the American peanut butter that I can get here in France. I don’t know if that’s a change in technology globally, or if it was actually a difference between the two countries’ peanut butters…

  93. Matt Penfold says

    In the UK we used to buy Marmite cashews. Really quite good.

    Walkers also do Marmite flavoured crisps. Yummy!

  94. MS says

    #100, You can get peanut butter that is 100% peanuts at most health food stores (in some places you can grind your own). If you look hard you can occasionally find it in regular grocery stores, but you have to do a lot of label reading.

  95. Julie Stahlhut says

    I had Vegemite for the first time when I lived in Boston, courtesy of an Australian FOAF. On Australia Day, in fact. Loved it at first bite. Tried Marmite later and didn’t like it quite as much. But both are especially great when you want something on your toast that isn’t sweet.

    Best personal Vegemite story: My husband and I were traveling in New Zealand in 1997, and spent a night at a campsite in a national park. On the way, we stopped at a grocery store to pick up food for the trip, including a jar of Vegemite for me. We were chatting in line as the cashier began to ring us up, so our bloodcurdling American accents were obvious and duly noticed.

    The cashier came to the Vegemite jar, paused, looked at me with motherly concern, and said, “Dear, have you had this before?”

  96. theshortearedowl says

    Sacrilege! Jesus should only ever be spread with Marmite.

    Adding butter is permitted. Hot melty butter. With gooey swirls of Marmite.

  97. ButchKitties says

    Nutella on waffles is so delicious that it’s impossible to eat it without yelling “TO THE MAX!” and then sucker-punching someone’s grandma.

  98. kiki.klank says

    I thought that believers in catholicism believe that only a certified priest can turn a cracker into Jesus.

    Am I wrong?

  99. boygenius says

    Posted by: Xenithrys Author Profile Page | March 12, 2010 2:18 AM

    Great historical schisms.

    You’ve omitted one:


    Of course, within both the Skippy and Jiff sects, there are further splits over “creamy” vs. “chunky”

    It’s complicated, I know.

  100. Kemist says

    Why does yoghurt need pectin and emulsifiers and high fructose corn syrup??

    Because it’s low fat. If there wasn’t pectin or gelatin in it it would be liquid.

    I hate low fat yoghurt. In fact it tastes so different form real yoghurt that I wonder how they still call that ghastly stuff yoghurt.

    In Canada, you can still find real yoghurt, but you have to look for it. The only place I can find satisfactory enough plain yoghurt to make, say, raita, is an arabic grocery.

  101. Kemist says

    @118 & 100

    Don’t be surprized also at how different 100% peanut butter is different from the supermarket stuff.

    For instance, it will accumulate oil on top, since it is not stabilized with emulsifiers and sugar. You have to mix it prior to use. It will also have a different texture and taste – less salty and less sweet. The texture is more like an oily paste than a butter.

  102. stevieinthecity#9dac9 says

    You can get all kinds of tasty “whole” yogurt in the city. I like greek yogurt there’s also some tasty Icelandic yogurt.

  103. Matt Penfold says

    Yoghurt is not hard to make.

    You just need milk, a Thermos flask and culture. You can buy various cultures online, depending how sour you want your yoghurt.

  104. Sili says

    Take, eat, this is my body.

    Take, drink, this is my blood.

    Take, enjoy, this is my skidmarks.

  105. chuckgoecke says

    I make my own yogurt, and I started with some Dannon Activia. Any store bought yogurt that has active cultures would work. I brew mine in the gallon plastic milk jug it came in, pour off about 3 inches, add about two cups dry powdered milk, and the rest with pre-existing yogurt. I use a water-bath(large kettle) on the stove top at the lowest burner setting, monitored with a thermometer to keep it at 109 deg F(43 deg C) for about 12-24 hours. I shift the kettle around on the burner to control the temp, depending on the room temperature and time of year, because you don’t want it to get hotter than 125 deg F(52 deg C) or you might kill the organisms.

  106. chuckgoecke says

    I forgot to add: After it is done, I use one of those blenders like they use for milkshakes, down into the jug of yogurt, to whip it nice and smooth.

  107. Matt Penfold says


    I make mine with bought culture, but using starter from a shop bought live yoghurt works as well. I bring the milk up to about 45C, stir in the culture the put into a Thermos overnight. 12 hours is normally enough.

  108. chuckgoecke says

    I think the reason they add sugar to peanut butter is to make it taste more like fresh whole peanuts. When one eats whole peanuts, the small amount of sugar present, being highly soluble, compared to the peanut proteins, is tasted first and its flavor is over-represented. With peanut butter, the peanut proteins are so finely ground that their flavor gets represented more in proportion. That’s why plain old fashion, real peanut butter tastes decidedly unsweet compared to whole peanuts. I think the amounts of sugar, and extra hardened fat add to Jif and other prepared peanut butters is trivial.

  109. Matt Penfold says

    Oh, and if you want a thick set, greek style yoghurt, place the yoghurt in a muslin cloth and allow to drain for 12 hours.

  110. aratina cage says

    it’s impossible to eat it without yelling “TO THE MAX!” and then sucker-punching someone’s grandma. –#122

    Careful ButchKitties! We wouldn’t want some previously banned trolls reading from the crossroads to think you were actually advocating punching grandmas, especially their grandmas, now would we? /s

    (BTW, I love peanut butter + maple syrup on my waffles and pancakes. A little sticky but YUM! Don’t think I’ve tried Nutella in that way, though.)

    Dale #83, that was the funniest Hitler parody evah! Many thanks for directing us to it.

  111. Xenithrys says

    Jennyxyzzy # 115

    Firstly – do kiwis not eat Vegemite???

    Oh yes we do! It used to be made here, and I reckon it tasted a bit different from the Australian product we now get. I’d guess kiwis are about 50/50 split between Vege- and Marmite.

    Boygenious # 124

    You’ve omitted one: Skippy/Jiff

    Doesn’t compute in New Zealand; Skippy is corn flakes; Jiff is surface cleaner with calcite. It’s possible to be accommodationist on this one.

  112. Kemist says


    It’s amazing how Greek cuisine, except for the spices, has similarity with Indian cooking.

    Hung yoghurt is also used in Indian cooking. And raita is essentially tzatziki sauce with cumin instead of garlic. Feta is very similar to paneer, and can sometimes be used as an alternative.

  113. Buffybot says

    Peanut butter is a whole food group in itself, to be eaten with a spoon straight from the jar, or from chocolate dippers. Toast is optional, and to have it with jam/jelly is a filthy abomination.

  114. David Marjanović says

    Why does yoghurt need pectin and emulsifiers

    To keep it from separating.

    and high fructose corn syrup??

    Because the American agriculture and sugar industry is powerful enough to put the syrup everywhere. I’m told even American “bread” contains the stuff. Kellogg’s Cornflakes® contain it… I thought they must taste better than any of the European plagiates, but no, they send mixed messages between cornflakes and Frosties® in a worst-of-both-worlds way.

  115. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    In corn flakes, the sugar is thinly sprayed on prior to going into the final oven, where the sugar caramelizes, giving it the golden brown color. The bulk of the flake is corn starch. For Frosties, sugar is also sprayed on and gently dried after the caramelization step, so it has much more sugar.

  116. phoenixwoman says

    Haven’t tried Vegemite, but I used to drive some Brits I know up the wall with my love of Marmite (one of them refers to it as “Satan’s sandwich spread”). I think it would make an excellent flavor base for tofu burgers — or used as a substitute for oyster sauce in Chinese stir-fry recipes.

    For those non-Americans who don’t get the point of peanut butter, a few helpful hints:

    As a sweet food: Eat it with Nutella. This works especially well with non-sweetened peanut butter; the Nutella has enough sweetness for both.

    For use in savory dishes: Use it as a base for various sauces, including variations on Malay or Thai sauces. Heated, spiced up, and mixed with vinegar and maybe some fresh ginger, and then allowed to cool, it forms the basis for a delicious salad dressing or even a meat marinade. (Many Asian-American restaurants use it as a substitute for peanut oil, which itself is a substitute for sesame oil. So if you wondered why your egg roll at an American Chinese restaurant tasted of peanuts, now you know.)

  117. says

    I was always confused when I saw kids on sesame street spreading their glossy, smooth peanut butter because I’d only ever had chunky, crunchy peanut butter. They also confused me to no end with their “jelly”, I take it you guys do have jams and jellies with chunks of fruit and pips in it though, right? It’s just the clear stuff looks better on tv or something?

    America seems to be a little behind the rest of the world in their dietary salt intake. The few students I know staying over here found all the food really bland at first- lack of the usual salt.

    (Oh yeah, and marmite ftmfw)

  118. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Let’s try that again.
    Piltdown Man, you are not welcome here. Now why can’t you muster the human decency to stay away from a place where you’ve been told not to return? Do you also break into houses and crash parties uninvited?

  119. Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM says

    Hey, Hoax is down right sleazy. Waits till the tentacled overlord’s attention is away for a few days and pops in.

    Do you miss the company of the damned that much. Because I can say this; I did not miss you.

  120. Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM says

    Let’s see. Piltdown Man. Banned for insipidity.

    Utterly obtuse toad who just kept coming back with weasely arguments for Catholicism, without ever addressing anyone’s arguments with substance.

    Still think that PZ is processed by demons? Do you think that other people are also? Why have you come back? Are you trying to testify? Do you think you are being brave by doing this?

    Is your life so empty that you have to come back to a spot where you were tossed out?

    You need a new hobby. Or start attending mass more often.

  121. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    Oh, Hoax is trying to circumvent his ban? Shows what a dishonest and amoral character he is. It seems the more religious (delusional fools) these trolls are, the more likely they are to try to post again. What hypocritical losers.

  122. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    Louis #194

    You’ve been to Slough? Crikey! What did you do?

    I got lost going from Bolton to Wigan.

  123. Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM says

    Why, thank you, asshole, for showing that ethical example for the rest of us to emulate.

    Seriously, get yourself a new fucking hobby.

  124. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    Sorry Hoax, you are the only one possessed by demons. The demons of false religion. Let the light of rationality cause you to see the moral bankruptcy of your church, and you show your contempt for the criminal conspiracies of the hierarchy by voting with your feet.

  125. Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM says

    Asshole, here is a site that should be more to your liking. One of the persons who runs the site recently got a grant from the Templeton Foundation. Many of the regulars there really hate PZ and have a low opinion of most of the regulars on this site.

    You will love it! Go forth and spread the word!

  126. Ichthyic says

    I’m beginning to think he’s been well and truly processed.

    Pilty is a great case on point as to how they just don’t make exorcists like they used to in the old days.

  127. phi1ip says


    Yes, having John Kw*k, bilbo, J.J. Ramsey and all of the other Dungeon inmates, along with Pilty, all concentrated in the one place would be like the ultimate troll love-in…

  128. Owlmirror says

    You win some, you lose some.

    Given that at your last you were still supporting the execution of non-Catholics, I certainly hope that you will continue to lose, preferably forever.

  129. SC OM says

    Asshole, here is a site that should be more to your liking.

    Amusingly enough, he’s already been posting there.

  130. Owlmirror says

    Amusingly enough, he’s already been posting there.

    I thought that Piltdown Man claimed to not be this one?

  131. Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM says

    If that PM is not our murderous troll, it would be fun if they had two with that moniker. Also, it would be so much fun if a Catholic theocrat interacted with that crowd.

    Sometimes, I have a very mean sense of humor.

  132. phi1ip says

    I’d forgotten too that there was supposedly the other “Piltdown Man” already over there; it would be funny if they both turned up at once and got banned for sockpuppeting.

  133. Walton says

    I always have this weird urge to pronounce “Vegemite” to rhyme with “Yosemite”. :-)

    And the British equivalent product, “Marmite”, is absolutely revolting and vile.

  134. blf says

    Vegemite, Marmite, and Nutella are almost as horrid as peas. The main difference it that, unlike peas, they do taste of something. Exactly what I’m not sure, but the word shite readily comes to mind.

  135. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    Walton #166

    And the British equivalent product, “Marmite”, is absolutely revolting and vile.

    And you call yourself an Englishman*! Next you’ll be calling for paving over The Oval to make a parking lot and outlawing wearing hoodies in Tesco.

    *He is an Englishman!
    For he himself has said it,
    And it’s greatly to his credit,
    That he is an Englishman!
    For he might have been a Roosian,
    A French, or Turk, or Proosian,
    Or perhaps Itali-an!
    But in spite of all temptations
    To belong to other nations,
    He remains an Englishman!

    -Sir W.S. Gilbert, HMS Pinafore

  136. DLC says

    Tis Himself at 168 :
    Aye, and none but mad dogs and Walton go out in the midday sun.

  137. StevePr says

    I found Marmite at a local shop (in Winnipeg), I may pick some up and give it a try…
    Never seen Vegemite here…

    Marmite is the dimwitted cousin of Vegemite. It tastes truly vile.

    Vegemite isd an acquired taste but how can eating a days worth of salt mixed in with yeast be bad for you.

  138. paula says

    I always have this weird urge to pronounce “Vegemite” to rhyme with “Yosemite”. :-)

    odd – when i was a kid I thought Yosemite was pronounced like vegemite.