Vegemite is a dark brown Australian food paste made
from yeast extract. It is a spread for sandwiches, toast, crumpets and
cracker biscuits, and filling for pastries. It
is similar to British, New Zealand, and South African Marmite and
to Swiss Cenovis.
Left: Vegemite on
Vegemite was invented in 1922 by food
technologist Dr. Cyril P. Callister when, following the disruption
of British Marmite imports after World War I his employer, the
Australian company Fred Walker & Co., gave him the task of
developing a spread from the used yeast being dumped by breweries.
Vegemite is made from used brewers' yeast extract, a
by-product of beer manufacturing, and various vegetable and spice additives. It
is salty, slightly bitter, and malty — similar to beef bouillon. The texture is
smooth and sticky. It is not as intensely flavoured as British Marmite and it is
less sweet than the New Zealand version of Marmite.
Vegemite has not been successfully marketed in other countries, apart from New
Zealand and to a lesser extent in the United Kingdom, despite being owned by US
food company Kraft Foods.