"love it or hate it"
dark, syrupy, rich and heeelllllllla salty - i'm talking about marmite, a wondrous yeast spread introduced to me a few years back by my good friend john aka boners. if you like the flavor of nutritional yeast, it's pretty safe to say that you will enjoy yourself some marmite. on the other hand, it's weird and potent stuff (popularized by the british/new zealand palate, not universally known for, um, refinement), and maybe you would not so much enjoy it. what is safe to say, however, is that when it comes to marmite and all things briny and/or yeasty, you either love it or hate it. in fact, that exact phrase is british marmite's marketing slogan, love it or hate it. very few modern companies that i know of have the gall to use such a cheeky and honest slogan. it's almost as if to say (imagine this in a gruff english accent), "if you love it great. if you hate it, well we don't have much need for one another now do we?"
obviously, i fall on the side of love. a piece of white toast, slathered in margarine and a thin layer of marmite is comfort food right up there with mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy. small amounts of marmite can also be added to soups, stews, and gravies for a more rounded out saltiness than regular sea salt delivers. and while marmite is loaded with sodium, which is a health concern for some (the nutritional content is not listed on the package), the stuff is packed with vitamin B complex, including B12, which can sometimes be elusive in the vegan diet. what's more, a dab will do ya: a 1/2 or even 1/4 teaspoon is all you need for a world of flavor. we've had the same jar on our pantry shelf for well over 2 years because it stretches so far. so, just like with table salt, you don't want or need to dump it on everything, but sometimes a tiny bit can add just the element that dish needs. for more on marmite, including its long and storied history, wikipedia's gotcha.
and here's an afternoon portrait of our handy jar of marmite. note its quiet british dignity and proud proclamation of being vegetarian:
now go get yourself a bottle and join the team!