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Marmite – Spread the Word!

Everyone has heard of Marmite – everyone in the UK, that is. I’m not sure if it is so popular elsewhere in the world. For those who aren’t in the know, Marmite is a yeastMARMITE-ON-TOAST-602918 and vegetable extract that is used as a spread in sandwiches or on toast. It can also be added to stews etc. for extra flavouring.

What people, including those in the UK, may not realise is that the word comes from marmite – a large cooking pot, or the soup cooked within such a pot. (Marmite is French for casserole, or pot). Presumably – and I’m guessing here – the soup was full of vegetables and very flavoursome. Hence its adoption as the name for the spread.

I quite like the taste of Marmite, but I don’t have very strong feelings about it. It doesn’t spoil my day if I have marmalade on my morning toast instead. But some people love the spread. And some loathe it. Feelings are so polarised that the term Marmite is often used these days about anything people feel strongly about one way or the other. Or anybody; I can think of a few politicians, actors, and comedians who can elicit a ‘marmite response’ whenever they appear on TV.

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