Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Translation Tuesday -Dedicated to Bridging (or Widening) the Cultural Divide

In the interests of international relations , I bring you “Translation Tuesday” where I’m going to explain all our Aussie-isms. I get a lot of questions and emails about stuff I post and  I want you to understand  all the weird stuff we have here, which by the way, doesn't seem weird to us.

It is appropriate I start with an Australian Icon and something I mention often.I give you Vegemite. This black crap in a jar is liquid gold and has a place in 90% of Australian pantries.

Vegemite is particularly  topical at present  because I sent Cynthia some vegemite recently (does that make me a Vegemite pusher?) and she’s avoiding eating it because of all the negative publicity Vegemite continues to get from non vegemite-o-philes. (Glares in Marg's general direction ) Cynthia practically stood in another state while she got her partner  to open the jar, like she was afraid snakes were going to jump out.  I fear Vegemite has a bad rep and is completely misunderstood. And ,  I don't find the vegemite bashing funny...Vegemite and Australians  have feelings you know. Do I diss Cheese Whizz? Graham Crackers? Other weird international products? (Except for rollmops - which really are gross - Sorry Finland but I aint never coming to the party on those and I'm part Finnish and eat a lot of weird things - just check out my Slack Tea Thursday posts)

Let me explain Vegemite to you. In Australia, from the time we’re old enough to gum toast our mothers slap this spread on bread and toast, or on our crumpets, or on our crackers or even on Weetbix.  Some might call that child abuse. Real Aussies call that breakfast. None of that wussy Peanut Butter and Jelly for us Aussies. We want something that's going to shock us awake and harden our arteries at the same time. Because we are a wild and crazy race, given to eating almost anything including  our national animal  symbols like Kangaroos, Emu's  and Crocodiles. You can buy them at the supermarket. I can't imagine American's eating a bald eagle. I rest my case.

Vegemite  has magical healing properties folks. I ask you is it coincidence that we have no leprosy, diptheria or scarlet fever in this country? I think not – it’s all down to the daily use of vegemite by about 90% of the population. Vegemite is a wonder spread.

Now, some of you have made disparaging comments about vegemite. Based on what ? The fact it tastes like road tar?  Looks like road tar? Tastes like salt on toast?  It's delicious and high in Vitamin B.

Vegemite was invented in 1922.  The guy who invented it wanted to find a way to use the yeasty scum they scrape off the top of fermenting beer. Australian’s are inventive that way. Waste not – want not. By some odd process it turns black and then they add about 5 pounds of salt to every jar to really funk it up. My Dad used to joke that they also used beetle blood to turn it black but I’m pretty sure thats not true. (Yep just checked the jar and beetle blood isn't listed as an ingredient -my Dad is such a kidder)

Personally I can't believe this stuff hasn't caught in internationally like Fosters  beer, which in my opinion tastes WAYYYYYYYYY worse.

Considering the Billionth Jar of Vegemite was produced in October 2008, how can that many vegemite lovers be wrong?  And for any Australian who says they don’t like it – well thats just plain un-Australian. We actually round up people who say they don’t like vegemite and make them go live in exile in the desert.

To further help you, I have added this awesome tutorial on how to make vegemite toast..Cynthia , this is required reading for you and there will be a pop quiz later  , so take notes.

Tutorial – Vegemite Toast

You will need: A Toaster, Bread, Vegemite and Butter (see how simple vegemite makes things?)

Cook your bread to desired golden-ness and spread with butter. How much butter you spread is totally up to you ...I love butter so I go a bit crazy.

Spread with vegemite , as desired. On the left is a normal person's amount of vegemite . On the right is my vegemite. (because I am tough  and can't stand it when people wave the knife full of vegemite over the top of the toast and pretend they actually put some on there  )

it's that simple. Enjoy! This is the good-est stuff ever.

Actually  I lied....this is how I really spread my vegemite but I didn't want to gross you all out.

Seriously though, If you haven’t built up an immunity from Vegemite by the time you’re three years old, eating this shit will probably kill you. You’ll never develop a taste for it. But I think you should try it anyway and get someone to take a picture of your face when you take the first bite.

I hope you have a better understanding of the Australian love for Vegemite. Please email me with questions or Comments...or if you want a vegemite delivery.

P.S. This blog post is brought to you by the letter V and by an idea suggested by beautiful Marg from Sunshine?Paradise?, which I completely stole, after asking her if I could , which isn't really stealing then is it?


Brenda said...

Ewwww, I am definitely NOT an Aussie - more power to you all! Love the tutorial - you are hilarious! (And so kind about my funky-haired picture - no wonder you are so popular - you're a sweetie!)

Elizabeth said...

I'll take your word for it! Vegemite is the best :D. And now I finally know what 'Men at Work' are singing about!

P.S. Awesome tutorial!

Anonymous said...

Mrs P, I always wondered about vegemite. Thanks so much. After reading, I still can't decide whether I want to try it or not, though. You seem to be saying "I like it, but unless it's been forced on you since birth, you probably won't". Is that a good assumption? I'll try it anyway. What the heck. Funny though, it is yeast extract, bread is started from yeast....are you essentially spreading bread on bread?

lw said...

Next time there's an opportunity, I'll try it. I think they have it at World Market.

I did have to go searching while in Adelaide for peanut butter. After a week without it, I was dying for some.

Deb said...

God I'm a kiwi and even I put my vegemite on that thick BUT I have to have it on cold toast so that it doesn't all melt in and I can appreciate the flavour. I must admit though in the home we have Marmite as the rest of the family are wosses and find Vegemite a bit strong.Actually thats one of the things I enjoy about going into Southern X Hospitals, they have Vegemite sachets for the toast in the morning, and their toast is always cold. Yummy.
hugs Deb

Sarcastic Quilter said...

I could have gotten past the color. Maybe even the taste if I really wanted to pretend I was tough, but you lost me at the very beginning of this post with a picture of the container which proudly states, "concentrated yeast extract". Then, you had to talk about the salt.

I have this phantom taste in my mouth of ridiculously yeasty, salty beer right now and feel the need, at 3pm in the afternoon, to wash it out with some actual beer! If I ever make it there, go ahead and tell me to try it but keep a garbage bin nearby in case I feel the bin needs to be added to.

Shevvy said...

I've never tasted vegemite, but know it is from the same family as marmite. The UK adverts for marmite have it spot on "you either love it or hate it!"
Cue lots of shots of people running away and retching!
I fall into that category, even though it was always in the house when I was little. I don't like beer either.
Now if there was a spread extracted from the waste product of vodka...

Marg said...

Brilliant....except for the bit about rounding up people who don't like Vegemite, didn't know that......... so I like Vegemite. I want to stay in paradise.
You might single handedly spread Vegemite across the world. A great sales pitch.
For Shevvy, as a child brought up on Marmite, Vegemite is similar but Marmite is more mellow. Another choice is Promite, it is sweeter, than either Vegemite or Marmite.
Shay, I am pretty sure you could find an alternative income in stand up comedy, or writing comedy material.

seabreezequilts said...

I'm with you piled up in little peaks on melted butter only way to eat Vegemite and a poached egg on top probably doesn't mix with a low carb diet though.

AnnieO said...

Hilarious as usual but....

sorry, you DIDN'T have me at Vegemite. That stuff smells awful! (of course, I can't stand the smell of coffee either so I am prolly not the best critic) Cute tutorial though!

Shay said...

Annie, you dissing the 'mite?
Amanda- we so have to meet for breakfast ..I like Stella...do they do eggs on vegemite toast?
Marg, you're too sweet. I'm not half as funny in real life.
Shev, OMG you so have to trademark that vodka idea, except the waste product of vodka is usually urine ...
Beck, I drank a Millers Monday night and thought of you . The last beer I drank was in about 1989. if you drink beer at 3 in the afternoon your neighbours will talk about you.But dont let that deter you.
Deb - But Kiwi's are tough ...almost as tough as Aussies.
lw- Peanut Paste is everywhere here. I'm allergic.
Chicken, say the word and I'll send you some ....
Elizabeth, Men at Work have just been successfulyl sued for that song because it plagarises "Kookaburra sits in the Old Gum Tree", which is another song you'll never get out of your head once you've heard it
Brenda- no you're a sweetie .Even though you think vegemite is vile.
Lissa- I'm cracking up over your petal comment...but then again you all like rugby league up your way, so we know the Eastern states are soft .

Shirley said...

Oh my gosh you are a riot! I've heard of Vegemite but never really knew what it was aside from being a spread for toast. I certainly didn't know it was beer scum *LOL* What I want to know is how is your blood pressure? I can't imagine eating that much salt.. although maybe the vitamin B balances it out.

Shay said...

I think it balances it out Shirley.My Bp has never been higher than 120/30. Wonder food I tell ya !

Unknown said...

Well, Ms. P, I have read and re-read the tutorial. I am ready for my test!

On tomorrow's (Thursdays) post, I will have a video of myself trying Vegemite. For any of you that have a weak stomach, you might not want to watch!

I am feeling the peer pressure and even though I tell my daughter to not sucumb to peer pressure, I must admit, I am.

I like a beer every once and a while and I think that I will tell myself that I am "eating" beer, perhaps that will get me through it. We will see tomorrow!

Unknown said...

By the way, I love the fact that you will explain Aussies to all of us non-Aussies on Tuesday. Between you and Lane and his Way Back Wed. and your Tea Time Thursday (or whatever it is called) my week is almost full. Anyone else care to add to the reading list?

Also, if this entry makes no sense at all, it is because I am having my first glass of wine after surgery!

Baa-Me Kniits said...

I definitely approve!! I love my Vegemite with lots of melted butter and spread really thick....that idea of an egg sounded good too! Now for all those True Aussies....Remember this??
We're happy little Vegemites, as bright as bright can be,
we all enjoy our Vegemite for Breakfast, Lunch and Tea,
Our mummy's 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!!

PS My Boys love that song ;-)

vawriter said...

Ooooohhhh--please warn me when you're going to be this funny! I'll double up on the panty liner since I will most definitely be excreting the waste product of vodka! (And that without even drinking any lately)

Vegemite is probably a lot like sushi. Those sushi people rave about how great it is and smugly think less of those of us who think it tastes like something that washed up after last week's storm. If it's a club, then I'm hopelessly excluded.

However, bring on the Vegemite. I will try at least a taste of amost anything once, just to prove I'm an open minded sport. My new friends in Pennsylvania Dutch country have promised me a hog maw dinner soon. Yeah--hog maw.Look it up.Did anyone else love the movie "Big" with Tom Hanks? The caviar-spitting scene? Heehee---running for the bathroom now.

Shay said...

Because I am a dare devil and cannot resist googling...I did indeed look up hog maw dinner and it sounds like the most disgusting thing ever. Really.

I LOVED the caviar scene in "Big". It was the best "That food is gross" scene ever in a movie.

TheLab said...

HOW DID I MISS THIS POST!? You seriously need to write a book, because I just LOVE your writing - you are so CONTINUOUSLY FUNNY!!!

This was AWESOME! I can't wait to watch the post Cynthia made now!!!!!!!!!!!!