For the inexperienced eater, Marmite and Vegemite seem interchangeable. They are both thick, dark-colored spreads made of brewers’ yeast and are often enjoyed on crackers, toast, or in sandwiches for a salty, umami-rich snack
While both can have a shocking flavor to first-time tasters, they are quite different and thus, attract different followers. From flavor, texture, and ingredients to origins and popularity, we break down the key differences between Marmite vs Vegemite.
What is Marmite?
Marmite is a brown and sticky savory spread made from yeast extract and enriched with B vitamins and other minerals. Marmite is most popular in the United Kingdom, where it is commonly enjoyed on toast and crackers or used as a flavoring agent in pasta, stews, and other cooked dishes. Marmite is also popular in Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, South Africa, and Brazil.
What is Marmite made of?
The ingredient list for Marmite shows glutamic acid-rich yeast extract (containing barley, wheat, oats, and rye), salt, vegetable juice concentrate or extract (including celery), corn maltodextrin, herbs, and spices. Some variations include sugar and caramel coloring.
Marmite is also fortified with minerals and vitamins, including iron, riboflavin, folic acid, niacin, thiamin, and vitamin B12.
Where is Marmite from?
Marmite is a British food invented in the late 1800s by German scientist Justus von Liebig. Liebig discovered that discovered the leftover yeast from brewing beer could be concentrated into a thick and nutrient-rich spread.
The first company to produce Marmite in bulk was the British Marmite Food Company, which was founded in 1902 in Burton-upon-Trent. The company bought yeast byproducts from local breweries to produce its Marmite, which was originally stored in a type of French clay casserole dish, called a marmite in French.
What does Marmite actually taste like?
The flavor of Marmite is strong and salty, and it’s said that you either love it or hate it. In fact, this is the slogan for Marmite. The flavor is intensely salty and bitter with notes of yeast and umami, like a more concentrated soy sauce. (Umami is a naturally occurring flavor in meat and fish, and umami-rich ingredients are often added to vegetarian meals to “beef up” the flavor.)
The consistency is very thick and sticky, and the color is dark brown—two attributes that contribute to some people’s aversion towards Marmite. Compared to Vegemite, Marmite is slightly milder and sweeter in flavor.
Is Marmite good for you?
Marmite is healthy in moderation. Fortified with many vitamins and minerals and is naturally gluten-free and low in calories, Marmite was given to soldiers as part of their rations in the First World War in order to keep them in good nutrition. One serving of Marmite contains high amounts of vitamin B3, vitamin B12, folic acid, thiamin, and magnesium, as well as an antioxidant called benfotiamine.
However, Marmite contains high amounts of sodium, and some variations include added sugar and artificial dyes. Marmite should be consumed in moderation.
What is Marmite called in America?
The American version of Marmite is called Vegex, which is sold in the form of stock cubes and spread.
What can Marmite be used for?
Marmite is a classic British treat enjoyed as a spread on toast, crumpets, crackers, and bagels. It can be added to hot water to make a hot drink. It’s also used as a flavoring agent to add umami and depth of flavor to cooked dishes, like pasta, stews, and fried rice.
Because of its strong and divisive flavor, it is usually spread very thinly on toast or other carrier foods, often in combination with butter and/or cheese.
Here are some of the best recipes using Marmite:
- 10 Marmite Recipes You’ll Love (Insanely Good)
- Homemade Marmite (Great British Chefs)
- Marmite Pasta (Don’t Go Bacon My Heart)
- Sweet & Savory Marmite Muffins (South Africa’s Sunday Times)
What exactly is Vegemite?
Vegemite is Australia’s answer to British Marmite, created when imports of the latter were disrupted during WWI. Like Marmite, vegemite is a thick, black-brown spread made from the yeast waste of beer brewers.
After many years of marketing efforts, Vegemite has become a beloved Australian savory staple used in the same ways Marmite is: spread on toast with butter, in sandwiches, or added into cooked dishes for an umami flavor boost.
What is Vegemite made with?
Vegemite ingredients are listed as yeast extract (from barley and wheat), salt, mineral salt (508), malt extract (from barley), food coloring, onion and celery flavors, and B vitamins in the form of Niacin, Thiamine, Riboflavin, and Folate (B12).
Where is Vegemite from?
Vegemite was created in Melbourne by a chemist named Cyril Percy Callister. The alternative Marmite spread was invented out of necessity, as imports of Marmite were disrupted during the First World War. His original recipe included yeast byproducts from Carlton & United Brewery mixed with salt and extracts of celery and onion.
What does Vegemite actually taste like?
Vegemite tastes similar to Marmite, but not quite the same. While both are strong, tangy, and salty yeast spreads, most agree that Vegemite has a more intense flavor that is both saltier and more bitter. Vegemite has a thicker consistency than Marmite, which may account for its extra-concentrated flavor. Like Marmite, Vegemite is umami-rich.
How healthy is Vegemite?
Vegemite, like Marmite, is healthy in moderation. Vegemite is a good source of B vitamins (although it does not contain vitamin B12, like Marmite does), as well as iron, and selenium. Vegemite is low in calories, fat, and carbohydrates, and does not have added sugar.
Like Marmite, however, Vegemite is high in sodium and does include unnatural food dyes. As long as you’re not overdoing it, Vegemit can be incorporated into a healthy and balanced diet.
What can Vegemite be used for?
Vegemite is commonly used as a spread on toast or crackers, or in sandwiches. A Vegemite sandwich for an Australian child is the equivalent of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for an American child, though they taste quite different.
Vegemite is also baked into pastries in Australia and used to flavor soups, stews, and other cooked dishes.
Here are some of the best recipes using Vegemite:
- 15 Australian Vegemite Recipes (Best Recipes)
- Homemade Vegemite Alternative (Earth Chick)
- Fettuccine with Vegemite and Aged Cheddar (Bon Appétit)
- Vegemite Brownies (Delicious)
Summary: Is Vegemite and Marmite the same thing?
Vegemite and Marmite are both yeast-based and intensely-flavored vegetarian spreads enjoyed on toast and crackers as well as in cooked dishes. There are some key differences to note when comparing Vegemite vs Marmite:
- Origin: Marmite is a British food. Vegemite is Australian.
- Thickness: Marmite has a thick and sticky texture, like syrup. Vegemite is even thicker, like a paste or nut butter.
- Taste: While they share similar notes (salty, yeasty, umami-rich, and bitter), Vegemite has a more intense salty and bitter taste, while Marmite is subtler and sweeter.
- Color: Marmite is dark brown, while vegemite is a darker, almost black color.
If bread and crackers have you licking your lips, but you’re not quite ready to dive into Marmite and Vegemite, try some of our tasty recipes for dips and spreads!
- Trader Joe’s Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Fruit Dip
- Spinach and Artichoke Heart Crescent Cups
- Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Dip
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1: Which is better for you Marmite or Vegemite?
A: Marmite and Vegemite are quite similar nutritionally. Both are high in salt, though Vegemite has a bit less salt, as well as fewer calories and fat, than Marmite. Vegemite has higher amounts of vitamins B1, B2, and B9, but less B3 than Marmite and no B12.
Q2: Which is better Vegemite or Marmite?
A: This is a matter of taste. If you want a more powerful flavor, go with Vegemite. Marmite has a subtler and sweeter flavor that might be easier for forest-time eaters to adjust to. If you need vitamin B12, go with Marmite, as Vegemite does not have any.
Q3: What is more popular Vegemite or Marmite?
A: Marmite is a more popular spread in the United Kingdom. Vegemite is the most popular yeast spread in Australia. 98% of Vegemite sales are in Australia, whereas Marmite is also consumed in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland, and Brazil.