Yeast extract spreads are so rightfully categorized as “acquired tastes”, and sparkle one of the most extreme love it or hate it opinions when it comes to food.
For some years now, I had on my to-do list to try this kind of bread spread, and this year I finally succeeded. Two of the yeast extracts I tried (Vegemite and Marmite) are well known all over the world, while the third one (Vitam-R) is not known outside Germany.
Texture and appearance
Vegemite and Marmite are very similar in both texture and appearance: they are dark colored and have a thicker, grainy consistency, somewhat like margarine. Vitam-R on the other hand looks like a caramel topping and it’s sold in tubes, not jars because of this.
I’ll start by mentioning that I tested each and every one of the “goodies” in multiple ways:
|on fresh bread||on toast||as condiment|
|with vegan butter||X||X|
People generally describe Marmite and Vegemite as (too) salty, but what I personally didn’t like wasn’t the saltiness, but the bitterness that lingered even as aftertaste.
To me both Marmite and Vegemite tasted bitter. The Vegemite was like a blend of fish sauce and soy sauce boiled until they turned into a tar-like paste. Needless to say that as vegan, a “fishy” taste is very unappealing – to put it mildly.
I was actually surprised that I didn’t like them, as I love salty yeast flakes and I sometimes use them in soups as condiment or just eat them with a spoon directly from the box. 🙂
The Vitam-R was much more tolerable, as it’s not bitter, but salty and creamy, milder compared to Vegemite and Marmite. It was ok on toast, both by itself and in combination.
TO DO: There’s one more Vitam-R version, Vitam-R Kräuter (Vitam-R Herbs) that I haven’t tried it yet. I might 🙂 There are also Vitam soup bases, but I’m not sure I’ll ever try them.
So the verdict for me is Vegemite NO, Marmite NO, Vitam-R acceptable. But don’t mind me, these are the kind of foods that you’ll have to taste for yourself and decide.
UPDATE 09 June 2018 I finally got to try Vitam-R Kräuter (Vitam-R Herbs) a couple of months ago, and I actually liked it an today I purchased another batch 🙂