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We all get that Marmite is considered an acquired-taste. Even the makers admit that you either “Love it or hate it” with that being its tagline. Yes, we know that it’s a spread made out of yeast. Yes, we know that the yeast comes from beer residue. Yes, we know that Marmite came about during WWI as an inexpensive food ration.

But what does Marmite TASTE like? Rather than take our word for it, we put together a step-by-step way to serve and eat Marmite, followed by an in-office taste test. Here are the results:

Marmite, 1
Coworkers who’ve had Marmite fled the area when we began to set up. (Krissy Trujillo)
Marmite, 2
People were yelling, “Don’t open that near us. The smell. The smell.” (Krissy Trujillo)
Marmite, 4
We were not deterred and we did open it. (Krissy Trujillo)
Marmite, 5
Whew! Yup, Marmite definitely has a pungent odor. (Krissy Trujillo)
Marmite, 6
Oooh, the anticipation of the untouched Marmite. WHAT will it taste like. (Krissy Trujillo)
Marmite, 8
The consistency of Marmite is similar to molasses versus jam. (Krissy Trujillo)
Marmite, 3
Marmite is typically served on toasted bread with a thin layer of butter. (Krissy Trujillo)
The second rule to remember is, spread the Marmite sparingly ... especially if this is your first time. (Photo Credit: Krissy Trujillo)
Spread the Marmite sparingly … especially if this is your first time. (Krissy Trujillo)

Taste Test Sign

Marmite, Test 3
Response: “Just salty.”
Response: “Sharp top note. World’s better than Vegemite.”
Response: “It’s disgusting.”
Response: “Mmm. Is there a palate cleanser? I don’t approve.”
Response: “One taste was enough. Not quite my thing.”
Response: “It’s interesting.”
Response: “Oh wow! I guess that’s what it is. Oh goodness. This isn’t used for some industrial purpose? This is food? Is it okay if I don’t finish this.”
The Marmite did get eaten ...
The Marmite on toast did get eaten …
... with one lonely soldier left standing.
… you can’t leave one lonely bite. I ate it. Response: “Fishy!”

In addition to the taste test, their were people who were keen to give their opinion but didn’t want to be documented (we don’t blame ’em). An English woman from down the hall was delighted when she saw us breaking out the Marmite. She even came back for seconds and ate it by the slice versus the timid bites that us newbies were skittishly consuming.

As well, directions were being thrown out by other seasoned English Marmite-eaters like, “Not too much,” “Cut it into fours,” “Don’t use the knife in both the butter and Marmite. It will taint the butter.” The last tip was our favorite.

Phew, glad the “experts” were there.

The in-office taste-testers’ responses seemed to lean toward the latter in the “You either love it or hate it” scenario. We have a sneaky feeling it’s something you might have to grow up on to appreciate, based on the English bystanders who were loving it.

If the reactions weren’t enough to give you an idea of what to expect, here are some responses from a poll we conducted with testimonials like, “It tastes like salty beefy fermented soy sauce,” or “Tastes like the flavor packet that comes with beef flavored ramen if you moistened it.”

We didn’t say they were enticing reviews.

Our not-so-scientific experiment brings us to the conclusion; at the end of the day, Marmite is something you may just need to try for yourself.

Have you had Marmite, can you put it into words? 

See More:
7 British Food Habits Americans Will Never Understand
Marmite TV Ad Results in 100s of Complaints 
Canada Bans Marmite (Really? We just ate it!)

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By Brigid Brown