Reflections on Vegemite

On a lark, I ordered a small jar of Vegemite, the Australian sandwich spread. Come on, you know, the one mentioned in Men at Work’s “Men Down Under”:

So yesterday was the day to try it out. I made a sandwich for myself and a couple small quarters for my children to try, and….

I had one bite. Which I managed to chew and completely swallow. Although not in the time it took me to throw the rest of the sandwich out.

Never in my life have I had a hankering for a beer/sardine/salt/coffee sandwich.

Although my children started complaining about it before it was served in their normal resistance to something new, I came to agree with them, and they tried it themselves after I took my bite and reacted comically to it.

I mean, I grew up in poverty, but my family was not poor enough to serve this.

I’m blessed to have grown up in a bountiful land where one can go pick food from outdoors instead of a desert surrounded by twenty-foot-long crocodiles.

The wikihistory of Vegemite is that an entrepreneur wanted to make a food out of industrial by-products. And he did it.

God help me, I saw in the Wiki entry that they use it as a pastry filling. I suspect that the Australians do this to keep other people away from their doughnuts.

You know why Australian rules football is so vicious? The winners get a Vegemite sandwich. The losers get a year’s supply of Vegemite and a sixty-DVD Paul Hogan complete film set.

It does give me a couple insights into the Men At Work song, though. Now I know why Australian men chunder.

Needless to say, of the 220 grams of Vegemite shipped to Nogglestead from England, the total consumed was probably a gram before I dumped the jar in the garbage. Which I’m frankly afraid to admit on the Internet lest it’s a felony to dump Vegemite in an American landfill.

(For other Brian Tastes frivolity, see lingonberries and sesame seed bread.)

The Continental Palate of Brian J.

After my recent experience with lingonberries, suddenly I’m trolling the international section of the local Price Cutter looking for interesting sounding things to consume. I mean, someone has to. No, if you’re wondering, they have not yet restocked the lingonberries after I bought one of the two jars on the shelf. The hole is still there, like a missing-toothed smile, and it will remain so until the next boat from Sweden docks in Springfield.

What did I get this time?

A German bread made from sunflower seeds. Continue reading “The Continental Palate of Brian J.”

One Swedish History Book, And I Am A Changed Man

I read Swedish History in Outline, and all of a sudden I’m trolling the grocery store’s Scandinavian section.

And buying lingonberries.


Klingon berries, you ask. No, lingonberries.

What are lingonberries?

Things you should never discuss at PyCon.

Aside from that, they’re little berries from evergreen shrubs, the kind of things you tell your children to never eat.

And they’re Swedish.

Just like Gustav Vasa, but not as sweet.

Oh, the things I do and put in my mouth to amuse myself.