Monday, September 07, 2009
Gluten Free Blog
Wiki on Marmite
Marmite is a comfort food. As a baby in England, I was colicky and fractious and had definite digestive issues. The doctor eventually threw up his hands and told my mother, "Try feeding her anything in your pantry. Something's bound to work." Such was the degree of pediatric expertise in 1949. My parents took that literally. A lot of what I was fed, back then, would qualify as child abuse, nowadays.
Marmite is in a class of its own. It is basically fermented yeast extract, taking the form of a dark brown goo. You actually start to digest it before you even swallow it, making it one of the most easily digestible foods available. The flavour is very strong, and not everyone is going to enjoy slathering it on toast, which is my preferred form of ingestion. You can sneak teaspoonfuls into stews, soups, gravies, and anything else you serve that is brown (with the possible exception of coffee). It is sold in small jars at World Market, though I can't find it on their website. Goodwoods.com also carries it, as does Friar Tuck's Pantry in downtown Round Rock.
I find it tasty. A lot of people don't. Still, whether you like it or not, it is very Good For You, and well worth the effort. It can be compared to Bovril (beef extract) or Miso (soy extract).
When I was little, children were expected to eat what was put in front of them, and, if they didn't like it hot, they could eat it cold. The fact of the matter was that children were routinely made to sit at the table until they had eaten everything on their plate, no matter how gross. Pigs' feet. Boiled asparagus. Rice pudding. Vegetable marrow. Beef fat. Tripe. Salt pork. Leeks. Most foods were seasonal, so we only had salads in summer. All other vegetables were boiled until grey. It was sad, really, what my mother could do to food.
Marmite on toast was an absolute joy! Still is!