This blog post is about Marmite. I apologise if it makes you hungry, nauseous, or confused.

Your mate. Marmite.

My partner enjoys Marmite. This isn’t a surprise: I’ve known it for years. Some weekend mornings I’ve seen her enthusiastically scoff down some Marmite on toast, and I’ve known times that she’s been feeling run-down and hungry and the prospect of a bit of Marmite is exactly what she needs to get her motor running again. She doesn’t eat it all the time, but she likes to keep a jar around in anticipation: Marmite lasts pretty much forever, so there’s no hurry.

It’s only since living with her, though, that I’ve seen so much of the strange sticky substance as I have. That’s not her doing, I’ll stress: she’s always respectful of the fact that I seem to just be one of those people who’s just never going to be a Marmite-eater, and she doesn’t surprise me with Marmite-infused foodstuffs. In exchange, I try not to complain whenever I can smell that the jar is open.

Her husband enjoys Marmite too. Sometimes she makes Marmite whirls, pastry spirals with a sharp taste of Marmite, and I think she does so mostly because she knows that he enjoys them so much. I honestly don’t know how often he eats the stuff other than when she serves it: occasionally, I guess.

Marmite whirls. You love them, or you hate them, or you go round and round and round them like an escaped rollercoaster.

I’ve only recently kept Marmite in my cupboard: it’s a new addition to my food supply. Are my partner and husband responsible for this? No… well, only insofar as that they once reminded me that they keep Marmite in the house: “We keep our Marmite in this cupboard,” they said, and that was that. (sometimes they disagree on which shelf the Marmite belongs on, but more often than not they’re in agreement)

But now there’s Marmite in my cupboard. I’m not sure why I keep it there. I still don’t really like Marmite, although I think that with experience I’ve learned to appreciate what others see in its flavour, even if it doesn’t sit comfortably in me.

I look at the jar of Marmite in my cupboard. “Why are you there?” I ask it, “What am I supposed to do with you?” It doesn’t answer. It is, of course, only Marmite. I realise that I’m standing alone in the kitchen, talking to my shelf, and I feel a little stupid. But it’s a puzzle that I can’t solve: how did the Marmite even get into my cupboard? I certainly didn’t buy it. Did it… put itself there?

Time for some buttered toast.

This blog post is not about Marmite. My apology still stands.

14 replies to Marmite

  1. > I honestly don’t know how often he eats the stuff other than when she serves it: occasionally, I guess.

    Uh, yeah, I suppose. I do quite like the fanciness of actual Marmite whirls, especially for special occasions, like birthday parties and whatnot (although a Marmite and brie sandwich is almost always too fancy for my tastes).

    Mainly I appreciate knowing I could eat Marmite if I really needed to, even if I don’t make time to actually dig the bread out*. I don’t make a habit of having it habitually, and occasionally I think perhaps I prefer Gentleman’s Relish but it’s good to know where to find it nonetheless.

    ‘s clever, that is.

    *Although I get proper fed up when people try and tell me it’s bad for me, and I shouldn’t have any. Because fuck those guys trying to tell me what to eat.

  2. Okay. I think I get this post, and JTA’s comment appears to confirm my suspicions. If you’re saying what I think you’re saying then it’s quite a surprise.

    • Yes; I would imagine it is. Why would somebody who neither liked more saw the point in Marmite, who only ever came into contact with it in the cupboards of other people (and then, sometimes, mocked them for their taste in spread, if they were foolish enough to try to justify it by pointing out how nutritious or tasty it is, to them), suddenly find himself in possession of a jar of his own?

      It turns out that liking Marmite is not a prerequisite to owning it.

      • That makes sense. I’d be very interested to hear how you came by it. It doesn’t strike me as the sort of thing you pick up by mistake when, for example, shopping for peanut butter. ;)

        But then what would I know? I’ve not tried it for a long time…

        • I looked in my cupboard, and there it was. It’s been there for many months, now, and I’ve no idea what to do with it.

          I still don’t like the taste or smell of it. And I certainly don’t follow the recipe books that people have written about it. But somehow, bam, it’s appeared there in my cupboard, without rational explanation.

          Peanut butter? Ick! You disgusting heathen. If peanut butter was meant to be eaten, they wouldn’t make it out of peanuts. =o)

          • I think we’ve reached the point where the Marmite analogy is obscuring a more involved discussion. :)

            I’ll be very interested to hear more about what ‘owning Marmite’ feels like to you when you’re ready. And what the nature of the Marmite in your cupboard is.

            I assume you only own the pure form of Marmite, and are not currently getting involved in the wider industry which surrounds (some would say taints) an otherwise quite palatable product.

            PS – Peanut butter is the one true spread.

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