NaBloPoMo-December …Joy…Comfort Food- Vegemite..


Wednesday, December 3, 2014
What food always makes you feel happy while you’re eating it?

Hmmm food… for me its a given, Vegemite. It’s my go to food whenever I am in a hurry, or need comfort food or just want to be lazy. Vegemite sandwich with sliced cheese.

I grew up eating Vegemite we would have it on Saladas and squeeze the saladas together to make Vegemite “worms” and then sandwiches with cheese, either cold or grilled on a hot plate Yum! and recently my Bloke taught me to eat Vegemite with avocado and a sprinkle of salt and pepper… I’m still not convinced about that one.

Currently I am doing a detox as part of my “the Daniel Plan” and So I have not been eating bread (no gluten) and cheese (no dairy) so I have not had Vegemite for more than a month… but today, ahh today I weakened and I brought a loaf of Gluten Free bread and I might possibly weaken in the morning and have toast with Vegemite, which also means a scraping of butter.. remember 90% good food 10% bad… does a slice of Gluten free bread with a scraping of butter and Vegemite equal 10% I think not!!!


For all my Overseas friends, this above image is a jar of Vegemite. And here are some facts about Vegemite…

When you start your day with VEGEMITE, you’re opening the lid on a world of possibilities.

Australians have been waking up to the uniquely delicious taste of VEGEMITE since before they could reach the toaster. So it’s easy to forget, that as well as being undeniably delicious, it’s also nutritious.

The B vitamins (thiamin B1, riboflavin B2, niacin B3 and folate) in VEGEMITE help to provide vitality and energy to help get your day started. Thiamin is essential for brain function, Riboflavin supports your nervous system, Niacin is essential for energy release and Folate helps to fight fatigue.

VEGEMITE also contains 25% of your Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of riboflavin and niacin are delivered per serve, as well as 50% of the RDI of folate.

We recommend VEGEMITE be enjoyed as part of a varied, balanced diet, and active lifestyle.

The Discovery

The VEGEMITE brand has a history spanning nearly 90 years. Its story began in 1922 when the Fred Walker Company, which would later become Kraft Food Company, hired a young chemist to develop a spread from one of the richest known natural sources in the Vitamin B group – brewer’s yeast.

After months of laboratory tests, Dr. Cyril P Callister, Australia’s leading food technologist of the 1920s and 30s, developed a tasty, spreadable paste. It was labelled ‘Pure Vegetable Extract’.

The Spread That Could

The Fred Walker Company initiated an ingenious plan; to have the Australian public officially name their spread. A national competition was launched, offering an attractive 50 pound prize pool for finalists. Unfortunately, the name of the winning contestant was not recorded, but it was Fred Walker’s daughter who chose the winning name – VEGEMITE – out of hundreds of entries. In 1923, VEGEMITE spread graced the shelves of grocers Australia wide. “Delicious on sandwiches and toast, and improving the flavours of soups, stews and gravies,” was how the spread was first described and marketed.

The reality was that Marmite, a thick, dark English spread, already dominated the Australian market and Australians were reluctant to even try Fred Walker’s locally made product. Poor sales of VEGEMITE spread resulted in its name being changed in 1928 to ‘Parwill’. Walker was determined to emulate the success of Marmite and the logic behind the re-branding strategy was simple; “If Marmite…then Parwill.”

Walker’s innovative method of marketing was, however, unsuccessful. Parwill failed to gain momentum across the country. It would take Fred Walker 14 years of perseverance and a change back to the original VEGEMITE brand for Australians to embrace what would later become an Australian icon.

The Spread That Did

In 1937, a limerick competition with substantial prizes – including Pontiac cars – was just the promotion to not only encourage entries, but also sales of VEGEMITE spread nation wide. Following the successful promotion, the VEGEMITE brand gained official product endorsement from the British Medical Association in 1939 and began advertising in the British Medical Journal. Medical professionals and baby care experts were even recommending VEGEMITE spread as a Vitamin B rich, nutritionally balanced food to their patients. By 1942, exactly twenty years after it was first developed, the VEGEMITE brand had become a staple food in every Australian home and in every Australian pantry.

During World War II the Armed Forces were buying VEGEMITE spread in bulk, due to the product’s nutritional value. Fred Walker’s company had to ration VEGEMITE spread on a per capita basis across Australia in order to meet the demand. It’s well known that absence makes the heart grow fonder, and so the reduced supply of that ubiquitous VEGEMITE flavour grew in the hearts of Australians. Once World War II had ended – coupled with the post-war migrant and baby boom – VEGEMITE spread was well and truly a part of Australia’s history – and its heart.

The Song of Australia

In 1954, a trio of bright, energetic youngsters burst into song on radio to a toe-tapping jingle named ‘Happy Little Vegemites’. Two years later, Kraft Foods developed the infectious song into a television campaign, which continued intermittently through to the late 1960s. For the next decade, Australians were informed through advertising of the nutritional benefits of VEGEMITE spread for people of all ages, and it wasn’t until the dawn of the 1980s when the original ‘Happy Little Vegemites’ commercials, re-mastered and colourised, were broadcast to an entire new generation of Australians who were offered the chance to revel in the VEGEMITE brand’s nostalgia – and have a rose placed in every cheek thanks to what has become Australia’s second, unofficial national anthem. This commercial was brought out again in 2010 to remind Australians of their love for the iconic brand.

The Spread We Love

There aren’t many products or brands that have been embraced in the same style, or with the same amount of love, as the VEGEMITE brand has been. And there are certainly not many that continue to. The world may be forever evolving but one thing that remains the same is VEGEMITE spread’s relatively unchanged recipe. It’s loved by children, teenagers and adults. It’s still consumed by our troops overseas. It’s carried in the suitcases and backpacks of Australian travellers, as a small reminder, and a small taste, of home.

There’s a reason over 22 million jars of VEGEMITE spread are sold every year and it’s because there’s no other concentrated spread out there so full of Vitamin B and nutrients, so pleasing to the palate and so intrinsically linked with Australia’s past and future as the VEGEMITE brand is.

VEGEMITE spread can be enjoyed in many ways – and is not just limited to toast and crackers. Visit our recipe section to see the varied and versatile ways you can incorporate VEGEMITE spread into your diet


When I travelled to America I took m Vegemite and none of my American friends liked it. It does have a salty taste until you get used to it I suggest a very thin scraping. Me, I grew up with it I like it thick!

Vegemite Recipe D Vegemite on Saladas Vegemite Recipe B Vegemite, cheese and tomato. YUM!


2 thoughts on “NaBloPoMo-December …Joy…Comfort Food- Vegemite..

  1. I had a chance to try vegemite in the 90s. One of my friends had moved to Australia, and came back for a visit. She brought a tiny jar of Vegemite. We put the tiniest schmear on toast. The taste was weirdly compelling. Not exactly “oh man, give me more!” More like, “Huh. Well, one more bite. Huh. One more.” Of course, I’m a salt fiend, so there’s that. I’d kind of forgotten about that experience, until I saw your blog post. Thanks for bringing it back.

    • Jerimi, you are welcome, I am always happy to talk about vegemite, I always say I want to move overseas to live, but Vegemite stops me, I am currently doing a detox for a health and fitness challenge and haven’t been eating vegemite, and last night after I wrote this and was doing my spell check etc, it hit me, light bulb moment, the lack of Vegemite is probably why I was having a week of extreme mood swings!! Or could it be, I am tryng to justify needing to eat Vegemite LOL

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