New Zealand 18 – Concentrated Yeast Extract Challenge

I’m finally back in the swing of things – no more jetlag, caught up on projects, and this time around I’m a bit more careful on attempting to order meals without bacon (hard considering bacon is on almost everything).

We had been discussing doing an office challenge of the ___mites —Marmite vs Vegemite. Now, if you had been following the dramatic story of Marmite in the news at all, you would know it’s in high demand. The factory is in Christchurch and was vacated after the earthquake; therefore, New Zealand Marmite production has been halted. Considering several New Zealanders rely on Marmite for a “tasty” spread, the country has gone into a bit of a frenzy. You could probably relate it to the United States running out of best brands of peanut butter. Here’s Graham Henry, national hero, former coach of the All Blacks rugby team, telling the country not to freak out about the Marmite shortage –

Vegemite is Marmite’s Australian cousin – also created of yeast extract (tasty right?). There’s a lot of opinion on which is the superior spread. Therefore, we figured we should put it to a taste test as an unbiased group of Americans. One coworker happened to get his hands on some small, ketchup-like, packets of Marmite (it is near impossible to find it in a jar anymore without paying $$$) and we formulated a blind taste test.

A vs B

Unless you grow up on it, yeast extract is not quite the best thing you’ve ever eaten. Refer to reactions below…

The Faces of Yeast Extract

Nevertheless, the 9 taste-testers unanimously chose Spread “A” which happened to be Marmite. I believe I can conclude that this does not mean anyone actually  admitted to liking Marmite, just that it was slightly more appealing than Vegemite.

Once the work week was over and the yeast extract challenge was complete, it was time to decide what the weekend had in store. On Saturday a few of us went for a hike (or “tramp” as the New Zealanders would say) up nearby Mt Sinclair. After rock scrambling up a steep and muddy woods trail, we arrived to an open path and took in some great views on the way to the summit.

Ocean in the distance

Colleagues at the Summit

The hills are alive…

Unfortunately, Sunday was full of consistent and heavy rain. However, that didn’t stop me from driving with a coworker out to brunch in Governor’s Bay – a small town on the water with some beautiful views. The restaurant’s background was in chocolate. This made for a great mocha and an equally great coffee photo of the week —

Yes, that is a chocolate spoon.

Next weekend looks like it will involve adventuring out of Christchurch again. Stay tuned…

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2 thoughts on “New Zealand 18 – Concentrated Yeast Extract Challenge

  1. I’m devastated to hear that Marmite production has shut down! Rather than the U.S. running out of the best brands of peanut butter, I’d say it’s more akin to all of the peanut butter being in short supply, and people having to make do with cashew butter! (Which is also awesome, but wrong on a sandwich with Welch’s!)

    For whatever reason, I love Marmite and Vegemite. I have a jar of the latter, and a friend keeps bringing me some when I see him even though I keep telling him it’s pretty readily available in the U.S. these days.

    Love the reaction faces. 🙂

    • himma2 says:

      Thanks Mark. I am always surprised when I find people who truly enjoy the –mites! Guess it’s all about having a better variety of taste buds than I do.
      The country is really freaking out a bit – we were able to assess the factory’s damage and my colleague came back into the office smelling of marmite daily…

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