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Você já ouviu falar de Vegemite? | Nível avançado

Um símbolo da cultura australiana, este ingrediente bem peculiar divide opiniões. E você, já ouviu falar ou provou Vegemite?

Este texto é de nível avançado.

As palavras grifadas têm explicação ao final do texto.


Australia's pride: Vegemite

Vege... What?

Vegemite is a thick, dark brown Australian food spread made from leftover brewers' yeast extract. It is usually eaten on toast, along with butter, margarine or avocado. It's also popular in sandwiches, on crumpets and cracker biscuits as well as a filling for pastries. It is very salty, slightly bitter, malty, and rich in glutamates – giving it an umami flavor similar to beef bouillon. It is vegan, kosher, and halal.

Vegemite has "cousin" products all over the world: British Marmite, New Zealand Marmite, German Vitam-R, and Swiss Cenovis.

Proudly produced in Australia since 1922

In 1919, following the disruption of British Marmite imports after World War I, the Australian company Fred Walker & Co. wanted to develop a spread from the used yeast being dumped by breweries. That's how Vegemite was created. It was registered as a trademark in Australia that same year.

The name "Vegemite" was selected by Fred Walker's daughter, Sheilah, among many entries in a competition to choose a name. Vegemite first appeared on the market in 1923. But it wasn't popular for quite a while. In 1935, another product of the company, Kraft Walker Cheese, was used to promote Vegemite. In a two-year campaign to promote sales, Vegemite was given away free with Kraft Walker cheese products. Sales improved. In 1939 Vegemite was officially endorsed by the British Medical Association as a rich source of B vitamins. Rationed in Australia during World War II, Vegemite was included in Australian Army food supplies and by the late 1940s the spread was used in nine out of ten Australian homes.

Originally promoted as a healthy food for children, during World War II advertising emphasized its medicinal value. Later advertisements began to promote the importance of the B complex vitamins contained in Vegemite.

Vegemite's rise to popularity was helped by the marketing campaigns that began in 1954, using groups of smiling, healthy children singing a catchy jingle titled "We're happy little Vegemites":

We're happy little Vegemites

As bright as bright can be.

We all enjoy our Vegemite

For breakfast, lunch, and tea.

Our mummies say we're growing stronger

Every single week,

Because we love our Vegemite

We all adore our Vegemite

It puts a rose in every cheek.

In April 1984, a 115-gram jar of Vegemite became the first product in Australia to be electronically scanned at a checkout - that really shows how much of an icon it became for the country!

Today, Vegemite is produced in Australia at Bega Cheese's Port Melbourne manufacturing facility, which produces more than 22 million jars per year. It practically remains the original recipe. Vegemite now far outsells Marmite and other similar spreads in Australia.

We're happy little Vegemites

Famous Australian actor Hugh Jackman showed how to properly eat Vegemite on toast once on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Check it out below.

The Australian rock band Men at Work also refers to a "Vegemite sandwich" in the second verse of their 1981 hit song Down Under, from their debut album Business as Usual.

What do you think? Are you ready to try some Vegemite?


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Food spread (noun)

Something that you spread on other kinds of food, such as toast or crackers.

Leftovers (noun)

What is not eaten in a meal and goes to the fridge for afterwards

Brewer (noun)

A person who makes beer

Yeast (noun)

The basic ingredient of beer

Crumpets (noun)

A typical Australian breakfast pancake

Filling (noun)

What goes inside a pie, pastry or a baked chicken or turkey

Pastry (noun)

A dough that is filled with ingredients and usually baked

Umami (noun)

The fifth taste in food (besides sweet, sour, salt, and bitter), corresponding to the flavor of glutamates, especially monosodium glutamate. It's also found in some natural ingredients.

Beef bouillon (noun)

A liquid (broth) made by cooking beef in it with spices for a long time. It's used in soups, risottos, etc.

Dumped, to dump (verb)

To throw something away, to get rid of something

Brewery (noun)

A place where they brew beer, a company that makes beer

Rationed, to ration (verb)

To determine a fixed amount of a product that each person can have during a time of shortage, such as during wars.

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