Vegemite is an Australian savory spread made from yeast extract, spices and vegetable additives. It is a popular spread in Australia and is commonly used on toast, sandwiches, crackers as well as an ingredient in other recipes. Vegemite is best known for its black appearance and unique taste, which is malty, salty and bitter. The spread also contains a number of important nutrients and it is one of the richest sources of vitamin B. Vegemite is also well known in Australian advertising where the jingle “We’re happy little Vegemites” has been used for many years. Let’s find out who invented this savory spread.
Who invented vegemite?
The history of the invention of vegemite began in 1919 when Marmite from Britain could not be imported into Australia because of World War I. Chemist and food technologist Cyril P. Callister was working for the company Fred Walker & Co. and it was his task to develop an Australian alternative to Marmite from leftover brewers’ yeast. Callister broke down the yeast cells and concentrated this liquid, together with salt, onion and celery extract to create the famous black paste. A 50 pound prize was offered is a competition to name the spread and it was given the name Vegemite after it was drawn from a hat. The competition was won by Hilda and Laurel Armstrong, who became known as “The Vegemite Girls”. The spread was first put on the market in 1923, but it struggled to sell until the 1930’s. By the 1940’s it was used in 9/10 Australian homes!
Did you know?
Vegemite has led to an online craze known as the “Vegemite Challenge.” In this challenge a person attempts to eat a spoonful of vegemite (for the first time) without bringing it back up. The reaction on the faces of people that eat the vegemite has led to the popularity of this craze. You can watch an attempt of the “Vegemite Challenge” in the video below.