March 8th, 2011
01:45 AM ET
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The Prez – not so much a fan of the salty yeast extract that's a staple on sandwiches down under. In fact, he called the Australian spread "horrible." We'd tsk his diplomatic dealings here if we didn't so wholeheartedly agree.

White House Producer Shawna Shepherd weighs in at The 1600 Report

If there's one area where President Obama and his Australian counterpart disagree, it is over the culinary merits of Vegemite.

Vege-what? That was on the mind of one 11th grade history student when she asked Prime Minister Julia Gillard to explain the Australian, um, delicacy, during a visit with Obama to Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia on Monday.

As Gillard described the sandwich spread as a “by-product of making beer” and “yeast paste,” she must have realized how unappetizing that sounded to American kids who grew up on PB&J.

“I’m making this sound really good, aren’t I?” Gillard quipped and then added the spread has a black hue and is “quite salty,” cringe-inducing adjectives when combined with yeast paste.

Read Obama not a Vegemite-terian

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Filed under: Australia • Bite • Cuisines • News • President Obama


soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. NIKO from Down under

    Hmmmmm VEGEMITE.. MAGNIFICENT. Much better than the MARMITE IMPOSTER.
    Chuck some on dry bikkies with some cheese...yum. Or nice fresh white bread, butter and then Vegemite. "BLOODY BEWDIFUL"
    Trust me, you will become addicted.

    August 7, 2011 at 2:15 am |
  2. Men at Work fan

    Interesting. The first time I had ever heard the term "Vegemite" was in the iconic early '80's song "Down Under" by "Men at Work" (one of the best early '80's pop/rock groups, IMHO). In the song, one of the lines mentioned a "Vegemite" sandwich. But, I never understood the reference until reading this article.

    July 12, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  3. Marty

    Vegemite is a great diet aid. Put it all over your food and you will then gag and throw up and then throw the rest of the food away, helping you to lose weight. I had the stuff in OZ and thought I had been poisoned, the first time.

    March 25, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
  4. Texas Dave

    Vegemite and its cousin Marmite are definitely an aquired taste. Tried alone, you will not like them, but on toast with some butter or cheese they are quite palatable. Both are a great source of most of the B vitamins.

    March 23, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
  5. ardent

    I love it! Spread thinly on buttered toast. It's popular in England too under the name Marmite.

    March 11, 2011 at 4:49 am |
    • Tim

      Yum. Just finished eating my marmite on toast.

      I have to say that in the US the taste is slightly warped by the penchant for sweeter breads. Given the American taste in beer, bread, chocolate, cheese and their desire to confuse size with quality and add it the expectation that vegetables should all be potato based and that anything sweet without peanuts or cinnamon in is undesirable I suspect it's time the country broadened its one collective taste bud.

      Has anybody tried Bovril?

      BTW Marmite is extremely good for you – a natural B12 hangout.

      Oh, BTW, for the Americans out there that eat American cheeses- Cheddar is not an American cheese, it's British (as in Cheddar Gorge) but thanks for emulating us so much – I guess it's the sincerest form of flattery

      August 7, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  6. Kit

    Definitely an acquired taste. Not to be slathered on like peanut butter or mayonnaise. A thin spread, clean your knife, and then run it over again to lift off some. A thin condiment layer. Toast with cheese!

    March 8, 2011 at 11:55 am |
  7. PBlover

    My taste buds have to agree with Obama's - the first time I ever had Vegemite "Down Under" they practically howled in protest! Although I have to say, the Aussies in my group felt the exact same way about my favorite bread spread - peanut butter!

    March 8, 2011 at 7:52 am |
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