Vegemite is a dark brown, salty food paste that you get from yeast extract. This paste is eaten by Australians and New Zealanders who spread it on sandwiches and toasts and use it also in cooking. Vegemite was created in 1923 by Dr. C. P. Callister when he had to develop a spread from brewer’s yeast because there were problems of supplies of these imported yeast spreads after World War I.
The following ingredients are used to make Vegemite: brewers’ yeast extract, various vegetable and spice additives. The result is a really salty, slightly bitter taste. The texture of Vegemite is very smooth and can be compared to margarine. However, it is firmer.
You can buy Vegemite in Australia and New Zealand and also in other countries where there are large groups of Australian expatriates, but not elsewhere. Vegemite is therefore strongly associated with Australia, although it is not a “national food”.
Vegemite was copied from the British marmite, which is a similar successful product. As a consequence, Vegemite had to become more popular than its British model in Australia. The name “Vegemite” was changed to “Parwill” from 1928 to 1935 to try to achieve that aim. However, it was not really successful and the name became “Vegemite” again. Nowadays, it is the most popular spread in Australia.