Wednesday, December 21, 2016
A Food Adventure: Marmite
Living as I do in small-town Mississippi, I don't always get the opportunity to try some of the different things that interest me--these are small insignificant things really but seemingly unreachable all the same.
And living as I do with a disability that is both incurable and untreatable but which is manageable largely by self-control, I don't always risk reaching out to try new things because I can't be sure the result will be worth tolerating since some things make me feel very ill indeed.
Despite any reasons to the contrary, I have decided to challenge myself on a small battlefield. This may seem very silly but the fact of the matter is that I have wanted to try a couple of food items. Now, food is something I have to be quite careful with. Even with my Kitchen Experiments with clearance sale veggies and so forth, I stay on the narrow path that is wisest for me: fresh foods mainly, dairy products okay but eggs only sparingly, processed foods in very minor quantities, and no animal flesh of any kind ever.
But there are things that I wish I could try. Although my life cannot be like other folks', I still have wishes and my "daring" exploits tend to take the tiniest course.
In any case, that is precisely what I did this past week: I chased down a wish. (Kindly do not laugh.) I bought a jar of Marmite on eBay.
Marmite. It's a British product that can be used as a spread on toast or can be used to flavor other foods. It's a yeast by-product of the brewing industry. It is rich in B Vitamins and has extra Folic Acid. It has been approved by the Vegetarian Society or so I am told. People have very strong opinions regarding Marmite: they either love it or hate it. Indeed, the eBay seller advised me that he does not care for the stuff, although his wife enjoys it.**
I had planned to make bread for toasting before the Marmite arrived in the Post but, alas, it has been too chilly these past days (the heat in my house is set quite low at 61) for bread dough to raise agreeably. Trying Marmite on toast will have to wait another day or two when the weather grows warmer--it seems, by the way, that we will be at nearly 80 degrees on Christmas Day; that's life in South Mississippi.
But I could not, absolutely could not, let that jar of Marmite sit on the kitchen counter until then. I wanted to taste.
It's a little jar--just 4.4 ounces. I tried the smallest amount on the tip of a spoon, and it was the most wonderful surprise! The flavor is heavy, yeasty, mushroomy, almost meaty, and it lingers on the palate. I really loved it, and I didn't suffer any ill effects. Perhaps the flavor was more enjoyable to me because I have been Vegetarian for most of my life and because I did not give up meat-eating willingly. I really enjoyed the strong flavor which was something uncommon compared to what I am accustomed to eating.
So, Eureka! I have found something new that I like. Marmite simply cannot be purchased here in my little town but there's always eBay. And Marmite is a bit expensive for my thin purse (given, as you might recall, that my weekly food budget is $20 0r less): my small jar cost $8.99, postage included. But I plan to buy it again in the future (most certainly from the same seller) and I believe it will provide value for money since it is a product to be used sparingly. I'm definitely looking forward to trying it on toast and in brown-flour-gravy.
I am planning another excursion into Food Adventure Territory but that will take place in the New Year.
The world is a very interesting place.
Life is good.
**If you wish to try Marmite yourself, I'd urge you to support the very nice eBay seller I purchased from: canusaukaus. He packed carefully and shipped quickly; his communication was excellent; his prices were reasonable--these are the qualities of the very best sort of eBay seller. The item is number 192010316896. Copy and paste that number in the search box on eBay and it will take you right to the product.