Marmite, Vegemite, and...Cenovis? A tale of salty yeast spreads

marmite_vegemite.jpg

Since it was reported a couple of weeks ago (erroneously, as it turns out) that Vegemite was a banned substance in the U.S., there's been renewed interest in the mysterious black spread from Australia, and its bitter rival in the yeast-extract world from the UK, Marmite.

But, did you know that Switzerland, the otherwise sane land of beautiful mountains and secretive banks, has its own black, viscous, salty yeast spread? Yes it does, and its name is Cenovis.

cenovis1.jpg

As you can see, Cenovis comes in a fairly straightforward jar (made of plastic), or in a tube. You may think it's funny that a spread should come in a toothpaste-like tube, but in Switzerland a lot of food products come in such tubes - mayonnaise, tomato paste, fish paste, dog food. (Okay, not dog food.)

cenovis2_tube.jpg

Like its more famous counterparts, Cenovis is a by-product of the beer brewing process. The ingredient list says that it is fortified with Vitamin B1 (Thiamin), though I am fairly sure that the nutritional makeup of all three yeast spreads is quite similar. Unlike the Kraft-owned Vegemite or the Unilever-owned Marmite, Cenovis is still made by a company called, quaintly, Cenovis S.A., based in Geneva. Their web site says that Cenovis used to be included in Swiss Army rations. Since they are beer brewing by-products, they are all vegetable based. (Bovril, a similar product, is traditionally made of beef extract so is not included here.)

A side-by-side yeasty comparison

Marmite, Vegemite, and Cenovis are all quite similar yet distinctly different. Since I had on hand jars of all three products (Vegemite and Marmite were procured last week in England; Marmite is available in Switzerland in some department store food halls, but I've never seen Vegemite), I decided to do a simple comparison.

Following are my findings on this weighty matter.

The packaging

Both Vegemite and Cenovis come in fairly plain, straight jars (or in toothpaste tubes for Cenovis, as noted above). Cenovis does have a nice Swiss-theme paper cutout kind of design on it.

But in terms of packaging, the Marmite jar wins hands down. Made of brown glass, it is nicely rounded. The logo font is curved to fit, and there's a cartoonish pot marked Marmite, in reference to the French meaning of the word (pot). (Marmite is in fact named after its container.) It's a timeless, classic and lovable design.

marmite_jar.jpg

The appearance

All three are dark brown-black, but Vegemite is slightly darker in color than the other two. It's also the least sticky one - the consistency is sort of like that of a fruit butter. It is opaque and matte, not shiny.

vegemite_texture.jpg

Marmite is the most sticky and viscous one - the consistency is like that of a toffee syrup, and very shiny.

marmite_texture.jpg

Cenovis is somewhere in between - shiny and slightly sticky, but not as viscous as Marmite.

cenovis3_texture.jpg

The taste

But the most important test is taste. The standard way to eat these spreads is to put them on bread, toast or a plain cracker with butter, so that's how they were consumed. (I was out of toast bread.)

marmite_vegemite_crackers.jpg

N00bs People who have not grown up with any of these yeast spreads may have heard fearful stories of how disgusting they are and such. The most common problem with yeast spread neophytes is spreading way too much of it on. If you spread it on as thickly as you might a jam, you are headed towards disaster, horror, and a lifelong loathing of anything dark and viscous.

The difficult thing though is that the amount of spread to use differs from spread to spread. From my tests, the optimum amount of Marmite (M) per 1 teaspoon of butter (B) is 1/8th of a teaspoon, or a 1:8 M:B ratio. Vegemite (V) on the other hand is less salty and less intense in flavor, so you can go up to 1/4 teaspoon, or a 1:4 V:B ratio. Cenovis (C) comes somewhere in between, but is closer to Marmite in saltiness, so the 1:8 C:B ratio works well. You can make the argument that Marmite and Cenovis are more economical in this case.

In terms of flavor, Marmite is the strongest, with a sort of 'meaty' taste. Cenovis shows its brewing roots more, with a beer-ish undertone. Vegemite has a very slight fishy taste to me, plus the taste of dessicated onion flakes.

So the winner is...

Well I must admit to a bias towards Marmite, since I spent some childhood years in England consuming marmite-and-butter-sandwiches for tea. However I must say that Cenovis is surprisingly tasty, and has an adult air to it due to that beer undertone. Its only drawback is that as far as I know, it's not available outside of Switzerland. Swiss expatriates do not seem to have as strong an emotional attachment to yeast spread as Brit and Aussie expats do.

My least favorite by far is Vegemite. This may get me banned for life from ever entering the great nation of Australia. The fishy-oniony undertone just doesn't do it for me at all, I'm afraid. One day though I look forward to trying the Vegemite alternatives said to be available in Australia, such as Aussie-mite and Mightymite. All in the name of research.

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Marmite, Vegemite, and...Cenovis? A tale of salty yeast spreads

Hello from the land of Vegemite! I just have to add that Vegemite also comes in a tube. I made sure to leave it with some friends when I visited them in California. I likened the flavour to a soy sauce paste - maybe a fish sauce paste would have been more accurate? ;) We also have a few more Aussie Vegemite-fakers, but Vegemite will always win.

I'm intrigued by the Cenovis!

Sandy | 13 November, 2006 - 17:09

Marmite, Vegemite, and...Cenovis? A tale of salty yeast spreads

Hi Sandy. I wouldn't say Vegemite is as fishy as a fish paste...nor is it really like soy. I guess it's unique!

maki | 14 November, 2006 - 05:54

Marmite, Vegemite, and...Cenovis? A tale of salty yeast spreads

Hi there, just catching up on your posts. I enjoy your blog. I also wanted to thank you again for the link to my "kitchen" in your blogroll. Cheers!

ExPat Chef | 16 November, 2006 - 23:28

Marmite

Long live the Marmite!

Sam | 12 February, 2007 - 15:42

Vegemite v Marmite

I have just come home from the pub and prepared a light pre-bed snack of cocoa with bread-and-butter and Vegemite. I always seem to have Marmite or Vegemite, but have never had the foresight to gather the materials to conduct a comparison. From memory, I would concur with your analysis of the relative merits of V and M. Thank you for having an enquiring mind and exquisite sensibilities.

PS I will make it my business to taste Cenovis as soon as possible

PPS There is a Guinness-based version of Marmite on the market now. Mmm…

Jimbo | 24 March, 2007 - 04:23

Re: Vegemite v Marmite

I am from australia...
i love vegimite its sooo good ...
i guess u could say it has an aquirred taste..
u cant judge it...i have grown up with vegimite.....u always prefer wat u know then too wat u dont know

anon. | 21 April, 2009 - 17:40

i am eager to try

I’m very eager to try the Guinness Marmite myself!

maki | 24 March, 2007 - 15:48

Great review!!!

What a super review, one of the best I have read on any subject. I love Marmite personally, the secret with Marmite really is, less is more!

Too much and it knocks you sick but just a thiiiiiin hint of it on some warm toast (sand butter or spread) and its a joy to behold.

Thank you.

KandyX | 14 April, 2007 - 22:26

NZ Marmite

Ever tried New Zealand Marmite? Not as strong and salty as the UK version, and not at all like the Aussie stuff. I’m a bit of a convert to it, as I can’t get the UK stuff down here- but its an acquired taste, even for a life long UK Marmite lover like me!

anon. | 20 April, 2007 - 09:32

Re: NZ Marmite

I'm American. I suppose imported Marmite can be found in the USA on a limited basis, but I never knew any American to eat the stuff. However I lived in England for almost seven years. There I tried Marmite once or twice, found it absolutely disgusting. However, I'm reading something now I didn't know — that you're supposed to spread it on a buttered bread or cracker very lightly. Whn I tried it, I took it straight, on a butter knife or something.

On the other hand while I was living in England I had a friend from NZ and she had some NZ Marmite her family had sent from home. I tried that and I actually liked it. But it was so precious to her she wouldn't let me have any more, since it's not available in England. So that was it. I would have enjoyed eating more NZ Marmite.

priscianus jr | 20 March, 2013 - 06:22

I've never seen NZ marmite

…I guess I’d have to travel down to New Zealand to try it! I’m not against that idea at all :)

maki | 20 April, 2007 - 10:10

You dont have to- its

You dont have to- its available from the New Zealand Shop, behind New Zealand house in the Haymarket (in London, if you’re in the uk) but its called ‘Vitamite’ up there.

anon. | 22 April, 2007 - 13:30

NZ marmite (and Japanese fondness for twiglets)

A Kiwi friend put some on toast for me once. I have to confess, I thought it was vile.
I do really like UK Marmite and have a fondness for Vegemite in moderation (I’d like to try the Swiss kind one day) but the New Zealand Marmite was unexpectedly horrible!

Marmite and twiglets are universally loathed by my Spanish family and friends. But when I’ve taken both to Japan, Marmite was rejected but twiglets proved very popular. Yeast extract is one of the main flavours of twiglets.

Loretta | 29 January, 2008 - 17:33

Vegemite

Slice a fresh loaf of white bread. Spread with butter (real butter) and a thin scraping of vegemite mixed lightly into the butter. Heaven!

Sally | 26 April, 2007 - 16:17

Bovril

Interestingly bovril in the UK at least is now a cow free and vegetarian product, all yeat extract now. Think that this might have a lot to do with falling sales due to BSE in the UK…

Sarah | 7 May, 2007 - 11:48

Why Vegemite? A good ole

Why Vegemite? A good ole PB&J will do just fine. Get some creamy peanut butter and a nice strawberry, grape, apricot or applebutter and spread that on some bread…and well, you have something way more tasty than anything with vegemite on it! Good ole american PB&J

PigeonMan | 14 May, 2007 - 07:56

That’s kind of like asking

That’s kind of like asking why have a burger when a donut will do just fine.
Yeast extract is a savoury snack, PB&J is an unashamedly (to some of us cloyingly so) sweet treat.

Loretta | 29 January, 2008 - 17:42

Cenovis

Cenovis also exists in a liquid seasoning, great for salad dressing, marinades and any sauces you want to give a famous taste !

anon.Didier Fischer | 22 August, 2007 - 11:56

Marmite v Vegemite

I have not tried Cenovis, but I have tried Marmite and Vegemite. Personally, I prefer Vegemite. It is less salty, less sticky, and has a more yeasty taste. Marmite just tastes like salt. The saltiness overwhelms everything else, unfortunately.

With the latest “salt is bad” medical advice: It’s worth noting that only Cenovis has a low-sodium version. I’ve inquired about where to purchase it for US residents.

cg | 30 November, 2007 - 16:14

Marmite v Vegemite

I have not tried Cenovis, but I have tried Marmite and Vegemite. Personally, I prefer Vegemite. It is less salty, less sticky, and has a more yeasty taste. Marmite just tastes like salt. The saltiness overwhelms everything else, unfortunately.

With the latest “salt is bad” medical advice: It’s worth noting that only Cenovis has a low-sodium version. I’ve inquired about where to purchase it for US residents.

cg | 30 November, 2007 - 16:16

I might be buyist on that

I might be buyist on that one (being Swiss) but Cenovis is by far my favorite. You should all try it, you can order it on-line from their website:

https://www.cenovis.ch/shop/index.asp?lng=en

ic | 23 December, 2007 - 14:16

Marmite v Vegemite

I don’t know what it’s like in other yeast extract consuming countries, but Australians are passionate about their preferences for marmite over vegemite, vice versa. I remember loving vegemite and positively loathing marmite as a child. I agree that vegemite tastes a lot like soy sauce, but I personally can’t detect any fishiness in it. Marmite has molasses undertones to it’s flavour, which is not present in vegemite.

anon. | 29 January, 2008 - 05:13

Vegemite - highly underrated staple

Another Vegemite devotee weighs in…

Vegemite is heaven. Daily breakfast food, hangover preventative/cure, anytime snack and lunchbox staple for children around Australia. I will again uphold the rule that it must be spread thinly, as even the greatest V fan will recoil from thick coatings of the stuff.

I have a theory: anybody not raised on Vegemite will loathe it. My father was born in the UK and hates the stuff, as did friends born in Singapore and my German classmates, when I was on exchange. Don’t feel bad if you just can’t stomach it.

But if you are still willing to have a go, take a slice of soft white bread, preferably still slightly warm from the bakery, spread on butter, then just a scraping of Vegemite over the top.

alioc | 29 January, 2008 - 13:09

....

Yes, the Vegemite vs. Marmite war rages on. :)

(what can I say…I was initiated into the Cult of Marmite at a young age!)

maki | 29 January, 2008 - 14:45

Vegemite vs Marmite

Being an Aussie myself I have grown up on vegemite but know of a number of aussies who also eat Promite. Promite is much sweeter than Vegemite with quite a distinctive carrot flavour. My Aussie husband loves Promite. My UK friend has recently introduced me to the world of Marmite and I really like the taste. I am enjoying both M and V but I find V has a much stronger smell and M stronger taste. I like both! Not Promite though!

Melissa | 18 February, 2008 - 01:35

Vegemite vs. Marmite

I just purchased some Marmite yesterday, and indeed made the mistake of too much in one sitting. It is much like concentrated soy sauce, I cannot wait to try some with tofu!! I have found all kinds of recipes online for Marmite also. I am in Ohio and it is sold at Beuller’s.

Kim | 28 March, 2008 - 18:22

Acquired the taste

Alioc - if you’re still reading - I am a counterexample. I was past 25 when I first tasted Vegemite, and I later tried Marmite. I have actually bought a jar of Marmite, which I think I liked better. I won’t say I adore either one and I don’t buy it very often, but I do like it.

I didn’t put it on toast so much. I used it to flavor vegetarian soups. Like vegetable barley soup made without any meat product - put some Marmite in, it’s good.

Maki - you described it as sort of “meaty” and that’s what I thought when I first tasted it. Kind of like the condensed dark yummy goo in the bottom of a beef roast pan.

anon. | 31 March, 2008 - 06:20

Vegemite as a symbol

Totally random comment, but when I was living in post graduate halls of residence in the UK, the warden passed the comment one morning that you could always find the Australians at breakfast by the fact there would be a jar of vegemite on the table somewhere…..

Zelda | 6 April, 2008 - 14:35

unbiased opinion

I’m American, and we’ve never really heard of any of them aside from Men at Work mentioning a “Vegemite sandwich.” With the birth of the internet I became able to buy it and did so at the age of 25 or so. It was vile - the first time I tasted it (off a knife, I didn’t have any bread/butter around when it arrived). I liked it on the toast though, and went through a phase where I’d have to toast bread in the oven because I couldn’t make enough in the toaster. I started buying it in 2.5kg buckets. I met a guy from England who liked Marmite (which is even less known here than Vegemite) and I liked it even better. It doesn’t come in buckets so I have to buy it by the case. I’d basically have to say that Marmite is just “stronger”, and when you have to pay a lot for it, that comes into consideration. Then again, I eat it by the spoonful now.

anon. | 14 May, 2008 - 05:19

Vitam-r & *Mellow*

Hi

I work for a wholefood shop in the UK…we have two to my mind nicer yeast extracts… vitam-r (organic & non organic)..its a light brown, runnier, less salty, milder but flavoursome version.

And then we have mellow…and its probably more taste controversial than any other yeast extract…as its a mix of vitam-r, honey and maple syrup…I had great fun this weekend toying with introducing it to members of the public at a food festival ;) mostly got positive reactions.

zoe | 11 July, 2008 - 22:58

I tried a sample of Vitam-r

I tried a sample of Vitam-r + honey that I bought from the camp shop when camping last week. It was yummy, but can’t find it for sale. I hope it’s not called “mellow”; tried googling that??

anon. | 5 August, 2008 - 13:38

An Aussie delicacy!

I come from “the land down under” and have grown up on Vegemite and Promite. Both are excellent as a hot drink when suffering from a cold or flu - simply stir a spoonful (tablespoon or teaspoon depending on taste - and bravery!) into a mug of boiling water. It’s a great way to keep the fluids up.

The best way to enjoy Vegemite and Promite is to toast white bread, spread thinly with butter, Vegemite or Promite and top with avocado. The creaminess of the avocado cuts through the tang of the Vegemite and Promite. Delicious! An Aussie delicacy!

Sport | 12 July, 2008 - 12:47

I eat Vegemite and banana on

I eat Vegemite and banana on toast with butter every morning for breakfast! yum yum!

anon. | 27 August, 2008 - 14:11

Bovril

I grew up with Bovril and Marmite and have ALWAYS loved Bovril and HATED Marmite. Till today, I find it difficult to understand the allure of Marmite/Vegemite and other similar “Mites”.

I have deliciously fond childhood memories of hot buttered toast with lashings of Bovril on top. Thanks for bringing back the good memories. I’m salivating even now. Funny thing was, Bovril just didn’t taste the same when it was stirred into porridge or mixed with water to form a thin soup.

I think butter is critical to this killer combination.

I was heartbroken when mad cow disease nearly did Bovril out of business. The non-beef Bovril just doesn’t taste the same anymore. They even came up with chicken Bovril in an attempt to diversify and save their business.

Does anyone else prefer Bovril?

Jeanette. | 28 August, 2008 - 12:08

Yeasty spreads - you missed one

My British roots tremble for saying this, but superior by far to Marmite is the German offering - “Vitam-R”
Don’t judge me until you have tried it for yourself!

anon. | 25 September, 2008 - 02:59

As an international student

As an international student who lives in Australia, I call vegemite “that black stuff”. Yes, it’s really nasty.

I’ve had a taste of it once and I’m never having it again, forever.

MitarashiDango | 26 September, 2008 - 03:40

Im from the states and I

Im from the states and I absolutely love Vegemite! I fell in love with it when I did a short 3 week trip to Australia when i was in high school. Ive been addicted to it ever since, so much so that I would pay a whopping 1200 yen for that tiny 150g jar of it while I was living in Japan. I took to putting it on Saltine Crackers with about 2 parts butter to 1 part Vegemite.

I was never too impressed with Marmite, the flavor didn’t bother me so much, it was more of that almost syrup like texture that I didn’t really like.

Ive never tried, nor heard of, Cenovis up until this point but I’ll have to try it out if I can find it here in Michigan.

Eric Hill | 5 December, 2008 - 21:54

Re: Marmite Soldiers with Soft Boiled Eggs

Gentlemen Please, what about the runny egg/yeast combination. An important & overlooked delight for us all. I'm coming from a soft boiled egg & marmite soldiers perspective here; yummy!

Mr. Runny | 8 February, 2009 - 11:11

Re: Marmite Soldiers with Soft Boiled Eggs

Mr. Runny wrote:

Gentlemen Please, what about the runny egg/yeast combination. An important & overlooked delight for us all. I'm coming from a soft boiled egg & marmite soldiers perspective here; yummy!

Try this egg/marmite combination: Make a marmite sandwich with buttered white bread, slice said sandwich into soldiers, dip each soldier into beaten egg and shallow-fry them until golden. Nirvana!

Banjo | 18 December, 2013 - 17:57

Some info on the German version(s)...

Hi,

as you read before in the comments you should try Vitam-R. I really like. It is very seldom finding people eating this, it is absolutely not famous in German. But the people who know it - and love it - are addicted life long. I only met one person/family in Germany that eats Vitam-R, too! But my grandparents knew Cenovis from Switzerland and always had Vitam-R at home, so my mother introduced it in our family... as far as I know it is only available in the "Reformhaus" or these natural products shops. Some years long there was a cheaper version just called yeast extract made by "Alnatura", but as I just heard this seems to be not longer available... so if you are visiting a German town just ask for a "Reformhaus" or something similiar and you should find Vitam-R in a glass jar different sizes or (maybe) in a tube. There are two different version a brown packaged version - just plain yeast extract - and a green packaged version with some spices inside (haven't tried this).

I like it most on toast with curd cheese or creme fraiche.

Unfortunately I'm living in Iceland and I can't get anything here...

Greetings

blanz | 1 March, 2009 - 11:10

Cenovis

hello from the Land of the Swiss.
I have to point out that cenovis is fairly uncommon in Switzerland (although you get it in every bigger supermarket) and very few people even know that it exists. This explains the lack of emotional attachement that Swiss expatriates show towards it.
..it is a shame though because it is amazingly good.

In fact, i just saw that I need to restock on Cenovis as my Tube is empty. I'll just eat some Vegemite until that happens.
(Never (!) would I resort to marmite!)

Fabs | 23 May, 2009 - 18:03

Long Live Marmite!

I was born in Malaysia and spent my University years in Sydney. Marmite is to me, like an addiction, I've had it since I was a little girl.

I use it to flavor soups (Chinese soups of the clear kind) the original taste of which I dislike or just to give it a stronger taste to eat with rice (like broth). I add it to white porridge (rice cooked with too much water), I lick it off the spoon and eat it with Jacob's crackers.

I tried Vegemite once when in Sydney when I couldn't find Marmite on the shelves at first, hated it and threw the entire bottle away. *grins* The fact that there are this many yeast extract products available is news to me though, but long live Marmite! =D

Serena | 24 May, 2009 - 13:32

Re: Marmite, Vegemite, and...Cenovis? A tale of salty yeast ...

Glad to learn that though similar they are different- I grew up on Cenovis, which "was in the 60s" available in France and of course Switzerland-I live in Canada now and I bring my own supply from CH or others bring me some- can't do without it LOL! Great on French or Italian bread only! Raised my kids on it, but only one really likes it....go figure...
I did not try the other products - yet - and there are so many options!
A friend told me that in Guyana, they have something like Cenovis- he ate all of mine in no time LOL - and it is called Gingermite.
Thanks for posting this.

Claire-Lise | 16 June, 2009 - 17:27

Re: Marmite, Vegemite, and...Cenovis? A tale of salty yeast ...

I love marmite. Then again, i grew up with it. My uncle lives in Aus and brought some vegemite over, i didn't like it as much as marmite, i agree with you on that, but i'm intrigued by Cenovis seems nice. There IS a special edition marmite for the cricket out at the moment, that includes more beer yeast, although it tastes so similar to normal marmite you wouldn't notice.

Rmg12 | 5 October, 2009 - 11:17

Re: Marmite, Vegemite, and...Cenovis? A tale of salty yeast ...

vegemite rules over any spread like marmite, promite, mightymite and ur so called cenovis shit. the new vegemite chessybite is absolutely disgusting! any as an aussie vegemite is the best. any way marmite chips r alrite

tomwce | 8 October, 2009 - 01:28

Re: Marmite, Vegemite, and...Cenovis? A tale of salty yeast ...

Mmmh, I live in Switzerland and I love all thing dark and yeasty, I grew up eating "Bovis" a very local Italian yeast extract paste not unlike the 3 you describe, and I do crave salty sticky stuff on bread with butter (or on pasta with butter and cheese, lovely last minute sauce...) from time to time.
What I don really know is what do Swiss do with Cenovis, since I've never seen one of them eating it...I think they put it in soups and gravy like stock cubes.¨

Once me and an South African friend where in the kitchen at work sharing Vegemite toasts and one Swiss colleague arrived and asked what were we eating, we gave him a slice and the surprised/disgusted face he made was very funny, would have been beautiful to have a camera for filming him.
He got mad at us because we did not warn him that it was salty and thought it was absolutely horrible....

stefafra | 21 October, 2009 - 18:03

Re: Marmite, Vegemite, and...Cenovis? A tale of salty yeast ...

I've always loved British Marmite. I don't agree that it should be thinly spread - I think I spread it quite thickly, and I've been happily eating it like that for 40 years. I cannot stand Vegemite - it tastes foul. I have yet to taste NZ Marmite or Cenovis - I'm more than willing to give them a try though.

Ian Cooper | 17 November, 2009 - 04:54

Re: Marmite, Vegemite, and...Cenovis? A tale of salty yeast ...

I was born in Canada to British parents. Marmite was part of daily life - like cups of tea. It was mixed into soups and stews, made into easy, portable, non-perishable sandwiches that my best friend (also a child of British parents) and I took with us when we went out on our bikes, spread lightly on buttered toast, and - my favourite - spread on toast 'soldiers' to dip into soft boiled eggs. Mmmmm ... comfort food! My Mom told me that she used to mix it into my bottles of milk when I was an infant. It appears to last forever or, at least, I've never seen it go bad. I would imagine that the salt content makes it a fairly unhealthy food option although it claims to be a good source of B vitamins. I guess that it's a good thing that it only takes a little Marmite to leave a big impression.

Marguerite | 13 December, 2009 - 08:43

Re: Marmite, Vegemite, and...Cenovis? A tale of salty yeast ...

There's also bovril, though it's made from beef, and sometimes i drink it as an energy drink since I'm allergic to chicken and can't do chicken essence or chicken soup. Bovril's great in place of stock cubes as well~ Though, I've got more of a salty than sweet tooth so i do put more than what you stated XD

jac | 3 January, 2010 - 22:10

Re: Marmite, Vegemite, and...Cenovis? A tale of salty yeast ...

Most of these comments bother me because they repeatedly connect Marmite back to Jolly Ole England. Now while I won’t deny that it is an English staple I do emphatically reject the notion that one must have some affinity for British comfort food in order to enjoy it. In America it is sold in major supermarkets and it does have a following because it goes fast. Personally I have no clue how others use it here, but I’ve always used it as a flavor enhancer along side of brewed soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. used sparingly it goes great on grilled veggies or savory baked beans as apposed to the sweet Boston baked variety. If you want a great broth on cold nights just grab some marmite and add it to vegetable broth. By the way I too have tried Vegemite and while I will use it as a flavoring for meat analogs. It won’t touch my other food. It truly is an acquired taste. Sorry Australia! Marmite mixed in the above combination also makes a great finishing touch for browning mushrooms in a wok. Add some 1 inch cubed deep fried tofu and wow Marmite did it again. Yup! I love marmite and I don’t think I would ever have it on toast for tea time. What’s tea time?

American Marmite Lover | 18 February, 2010 - 05:55

Marmite and Vegemite

I went to a local exotic-products store (Cost-Plus World Market), and bought a little 150g jar of Vegemite. I've had about the same reactions as everybody: soy-like taste (no fishiness, though, maybe thats a local-culture thing perhaps?),kind of salty, very bitter in large amounts...but absolutely delicious in miniscule amounts on club-style crackers!


Yes, I'm eating it all by itself, tiny divots on huge cracker pieces. Love it! Of course, I also love the burnt edge deposits in batches of scalloped potatoes, meat loaf, etc., so go figure(no joke, I really do).


MWB

mwb | 28 September, 2010 - 23:15

Re: Marmite, Vegemite, and...Cenovis? A tale of salty yeast ...

Well I am Australian with UK parents as was brought up with both Marmite and Vegemite and my elder brother ( how spent most of his childhood in UK ) loved another local yeast spread called Promite. I prefer Vegemite will use Marmite if I have to but Promite is disgusting! If you like a Vegemite sanga imagine sprinkling sugar on it yughhhh !
As for why Australians are so fond of Vegemite.
ITS MADE FROM BEER ! duh
The extract comes from where they make the best Australian beer too Carlton & United Breweries. Except for that Fosters rubbish which you wouldn't put in snail trap in the garden.

GMS | 7 November, 2010 - 07:04

Re: Marmite, Vegemite, and...Cenovis? A tale of salty yeast ...

As an American that's tried all three I have to say...

That all three are good. But the Vegemite wins out with me as a spread. It'd be like comparing Dukes mayo to Kraft Mayo in the US in the sense that I believe that Dukes, much like Marmite (which are both strongly flavored) do better when added to dishes while Hellman's and Vegemite are more attuned to sandwich fare as most Kraft sauces and dressings are.

The cenovis is in a league all of its own in my opinion however.

Abram | 22 November, 2010 - 23:24
Akiva Hillel | 18 January, 2011 - 04:23

Re: Marmite, Vegemite, and...Cenovis? A tale of salty yeast ...

I grew up with Cenovis and absolutely adore it. In Switzerland I found it pretty easily in Migros or strangely enough, drug stores. I could never find it in the US, and its name is completely unknown here in Japan :(
I've read about Vegemite and Marmite and look forward to trying them :)

Swiss | 20 January, 2011 - 01:25

Re: Marmite, Vegemite, and...Cenovis? A tale of salty yeast ...

As an Aussie I love Vegemite-"we're happy little Vegemites...."& I like a fairly generous spread of it too! However I have been reading that it is akin to MSG which is not good for anyone , sigh, what next will "they" say is bad for us?
Info on MSG related products here.http://www.msgtruth.org/avoid.htm

anon. | 27 January, 2011 - 06:52

Re: Marmite, Vegemite, and...Cenovis? A tale of salty yeast ...

I can't believe this product is still being marketed.
It belongs in the same category as MSG...just another name!

Michel | 9 June, 2011 - 22:34

Re: Marmite, Vegemite, and...Cenovis? A tale of salty yeast ...

It really annoys me that Marmite switched from their meat-based product to a veggie one. There are, clearly, other veggie versions of this type of thing, and none of them have the depth of flavor that the old Marmite did. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

As to those folks who use MSG, Marmite, Vegemite etc. as curse words, get a life. People have been eating all of them for a looooong time. I don't see whole nations dropping dead as a result. If you don't like it, don't eat it, but, please, learn *how* to eat it before you bad mouth it. Moderation in all things.

Ahem. I seem to be on a truism roll here. The food police just get me going!

ruthie | 13 June, 2011 - 06:08

Re: Marmite, Vegemite, and...Cenovis? A tale of salty yeast ...

Having come from Canada, and many times visited NZ and Aussie, I should have acquired a taste for these salty yeast extract products. I have not. Now living in Tennessee, I was good enough to share some of my NZ wife's Marmite with my cat. She licked her ass to clear the taste. It was a cruel thing to do.

Glenn | 4 August, 2011 - 14:52

A US opinion...

Having grown up with NONE of these in my house, I can weigh in as a sort of n00b.

I tried Marmite first, which I love. Then I saw Vegemite and gave it a try. I liked it as well. I agree with needing a little more to get the flavor, but I definitely did NOT taste anything fishy or fish-like.

I want to try Bovril & now Cenova, but I haven't seen it, anywhere, yet...

The Master | 26 September, 2011 - 15:46

Re: Marmite, Vegemite, and...Cenovis? A tale of salty yeast ...

I mentioned in a previous comment that I grew up with Cenovis. Just the other day I tried Vegemite for the first time - and it was wonderful :) It tasted very similar to Cenovis. I'll need to scour some food import shops to find it now!

Swiss | 13 November, 2011 - 01:01

Re: Marmite, Vegemite, and...Cenovis? A tale of salty yeast ...

I've never had any of them before but curious whenever I see them on the shelves in the Supermarket. Also thnx for describing how to enjoy them on toast etc.

Can someone pls clarify if Vegemite is really kosher. And "It really annoys me that Marmite switched from their meat-based product to a veggie one. There are, clearly, other veggie versions of this type of thing, and none of them have the depth of flavor that the old Marmite did." Is Marmite veggie version kosher too? Thnx.

anon. | 13 November, 2011 - 08:29

AussieMite @ Waitrose (UK)

As of tonight I am the proud owner of a jar of authentic AussieMite, purchased from a Waitrose store here in the UK. For those interested:
1. It comes in a black jar with a yellow lid, somewhat like Marmite but more "upper-class" (check Google's Image Search).
2. It's dark as treacle - darker than Marmite - and shiny, retaining its dark colour even when spread on toast.
3. It also has a stronger taste, but is somewhat fishy/oniony.

I'm sorry but I can't compare it to Vegemite on experience (I vaguely remember a "yuck!" episode nigh on 10 years ago now), but it seems similar to the description above.

So if anyone's curious (and has a Waitrose store nearby), go try it for yourselves!

MikeLikesMarmite | 13 December, 2011 - 19:51

Re: Marmite, Vegemite, and...Cenovis? A tale of salty yeast ...

Marmite has always been vegetarian....

Anyways, only a 1/8 ratio? My word haha I have about 2 teaspoons per slice of bread, if not a bit more, I love the stuff! I have it on toast, weetabix (butter as well, no milk that would be silly :P) in my gravys and sauces to go with beef, its such wonderful stuff. Also the infamous Nigella recipe for marmite and spaghetti, melt butter in a pan add marmite and spaghetti sauce, mix the spaghetti through and voila, cheap and delicious!

Vegemite however, I only eat at my uncles as he doesn't have marmite, hes a vegemite man and also lived in Aus for a while as a kid, that maybe why. Its not strong enough for me, I need that bitter salty taste to nearly make my eyes water haha!

I need to try this Cenovis though!

Leelee | 17 January, 2012 - 20:33

Re: Marmite, Vegemite, and...Cenovis? A tale of salty yeast ...

I live just north of Atlanta, Georgia. I had heard of Vegemite when I was a kid (I'm 40 now), thanks to the song by Men At Work, but had never had the opportunity to try it. I recently became acquainted with Marmite while searching recipes online, and found that it was available here in Publix supermarkets. I picked up a jar and tried it on some buttered toast as soon as I got home with it. It was absolutely delicious. Since then, I have taken to eating it in greater quantities, as I love the taste and have yet to get it too strong. I eat it on buttered toast and bagels, cheese sandwiches, toast with butter and a fried or poached egg (really really good) and in oatmeal. One of my favorite ways to eat it now is on toast or a bagel with cream cheese. I mix the Marmite with the cream cheese and spread it on as thick as I can. It is heavenly. A sandwich made with good bread, butter, Marmite, and a strong cheese such as sharp cheddar, double Gloucester, or even Stilton is also quite excellent. I have also recently ordered a jar of Marmite XO (the aged, extra strong version), but is has not arrived yet. I am going to have to order a jar of Vegemite online, and a jar of Cenovis too if I can find it, so I can compare them to Marmite. Basically though, Marmite is one of the best things I have ever found, and I am now hopelessly addicted to it.

anon. | 3 May, 2012 - 14:11
anon. | 14 May, 2012 - 00:32

Re: Marmite, Vegemite, and...Cenovis? A tale of salty yeast ...

how could you possibly love marmite more than vegemite? shame.

anon. | 14 July, 2012 - 19:33

Re: Marmite, Vegemite, and...Cenovis? A tale of salty yeast ...

I Love Marmite!
Usually, I have to keep two jars in the kitchen, as I suffer from 'Marmite attachment anxiety disorder' if I see I'm in danger of running out of the Heavenly brown goo.
Lovely on buttered toast. Downright marvellous with cheese, especially a matured Cheddar. Perfect in a sarnie. ('at's a 'Sammich' to you Yanks.)
I was probably the one out of three people who liked the Marmite chocolate bars that came out a couple of years back.
Just read an article in the Mirror Online today that intimated that Marmite might even be helpful in combating the dreaded MRSA.
Not sure about that, but I can say with plenty of personal experience, that it does help to ease hangovers.

bob | 28 August, 2012 - 06:27

Re: Marmite, Vegemite, and...Cenovis? A tale of salty yeast ...

Swiss chums have just visited me and brought Cenovis. It is distinct. And I have grown up on Marmite and then later found Vegemite. They are all lovely. Like beer and wine; there is variety. I go through phases. For the last few years I have preferred NZ Sanatorium Marmite. What a taste. I have today just had Cenovis with brown bread and butter and it was a delight. So off to the shops to see if the ex pat Swiss are prominent enough to demand it on Thai Shelves.

tim | 6 February, 2013 - 17:21

Re: Marmite, Vegemite, and...Cenovis? A tale of salty yeast ...

Vitam-R, a German product, is far superior to all others, in my opinion.
It's not sold in stores in the US but can be mail-ordered. Definitely worth the price. But then I was introduced to these spreads in Germany with Vitam-R so my tastebuds fell in love with it. For me, all others are pale imitations of this 86 year old wonder-spread.
It's less intense and less salty than the others.

anon. | 7 February, 2013 - 01:47

Cenovis

I'm Swiss and live abroad and agree that Cenovis is a niche product, yet very very Swiss. I tasted Marmite once and could live with it if I were in a country that sells this product. The taste is slighlty different but I have grown up with Cenovis so Marmite is a substitute to Cenovis. Nothing wrong with Marmite though!! I buy Cenovis when in Switzerland like chocoloate, cheese, cheese fondue, etc. to bring back home. My kids HATE Cenovis!! ;) LOL

Cedric | 9 March, 2013 - 11:50

Re: Marmite, Vegemite, and...Cenovis? A tale of salty yeast ...

Going to Switzerland often I have fallen for Cenovis as a spread on bread. No where in the U.S. can I find an importer of this product. Very unfortunate because Americans would like it too.

Abe | 12 July, 2013 - 13:30

Re: Marmite, Vegemite, and...Cenovis? A tale of salty yeast ...

Oh dear, what to say, I'm now living in Uk, and my boyfriend loves marmite! I don't hate it as much as I did ten years ago, but I cannot have it for breakfast! I find it surprisingly nice as a kind of broth for vegetable soups! it was tasty and rich, and gave such a nice colour to the broth!
My boyfriend still cannot kiss me after a marmite toast ;) heehee

Elisabeth | 10 October, 2013 - 10:41

Re: Marmite, Vegemite, and...Cenovis? A tale of salty yeast ...

I am a born a bred Aussie, and I have to admit that I also do not like vegemite. Never have, and never will. I do, however, use it for cooking on occasion - in dishes like Spaghetti bolognaise or a tomato-based veggie soup. Just a heaped teaspoon melted through is all that is needed.

Nickerockers | 10 October, 2013 - 23:04

Re: Marmite, Vegemite, and...Cenovis? A tale of salty yeast ...

My grandmother lived in Switzerland where we visited her every holiday, and she used to rub meat with Cenovis and fry it in butter. Tasted like heaven! One of my most strong childhood memories concerning lovely food. You should all try it. Living in Holland, with no Cenovis available in supermarkets, I use Marmite, but nothings van beat the flavour of Cenovis!

Karin | 24 March, 2014 - 15:57

Re: Marmite, Vegemite, and...Cenovis? A tale of salty yeast ...

I grew up in the US, with a German step-father. Thus, I was introduced to vitam-R and marmite at a young age. We ate vitam-R whenever we could get it from Germany, and marmite as a substitute when we didn't have vitam-R around. I vastly prefer vitam-R, but since it's difficult to find in the US (you can order it from Organic-Gourmet...they call it "savory spread"), and marmite is sold in many specialty stores, these days, I eat a lot of marmite. I have not met any other Americans who eat marmite (outside of my family). I tried Vegemite a long time ago, found it not to my liking and never tried it again. When I lived in Southern Africa, the marmite was a bit different there...less sticky, darker and a bit more strongly flavored. I prefer the stuff from the UK. But to me, the best of them all is vitam-R. It's more yeasty and less salty/more flavorful than marmite, and a lot more runny (very spreadable). I have not tried Cenovis but will do so on my next trip to Switzerland!

Aaron | 19 April, 2014 - 00:01

Re: Marmite, Vegemite, and...Cenovis? A tale of salty yeast ...

Cenovis can be bought online at www.shopcenovis.ch. However, you must buy a 6 jar (200ml per jar) pack at 48 Swiss franks (about 50 US dollars). That includes postage.

Scotttt | 7 November, 2014 - 21:12

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