I summarized this history lesson when we first visited Sydney, and if you are interested, you can click here.
In honor of Australia Day, I'm going to list seven things that I like about Australia. I'll start with an easy one -- Vegemite.
You may recall my Seven-day Vegemite Challenge, but you may have missed that seventh recipe... because I never got around to posting it. I did complete the challenge in the seven days, but I'm just now writing up the results.
So here it is:Vegemite on an Alfalfa Sprouts Sandwich
(My hypothesis has changed greatly since the beginning of the challenge, but for the sake of scientific method, I'll keep it the same.) Vegemite does not possess a flavor which can be favorably acquired as an adult.
I'm predicting that I will like the sandwich because I have liked all six of the other Vegemite recipes. How bad could alfalfa spouts make it??
However, when I asked other Aussies if they had heard of this combination, I either got No, that's a new one. or Gag! Someone is pulling your leg. Finally, I found one other Aussie would had heard of alfalfa and Vegemite, but she also liked peanut butter and Vegemite together, so I'm not sure she could be trusted.
Undeterred, I trusted Gabby's judgement so I got some alfalfa (organic!), light-and-tasty cheese (that's the name of light cheddar), and some sourdough bread. I then slathered on the Vegemite.
Yes, I slathered.
You see, at this point in the week I was really falling in love with the dark yeasty stuff. As I said above, every recipe was a hit (well, I thought it was a hit... Chris... well, not so much). Coming off the high of a successful Vegemite week, I figured I'd go for broke and lay it on thick, despite knowing that even Aussies use it sparingly.
Day Seven AnalysisI didn't like it. It tasted too strongly of yeast, and I had alfalfa sprouts jumping off the bread like they were committing suicide. I possibly packed too many sprouts on the sandwich. Or they just don't like Vegemite. Or being eaten.
This was one day Chris was thankful to be at work during the taste testing.
Day Seven Conclusion
When explaining this dish to some friends of ours, one of the guys said, "That had to be a failure. Vegemite and weeds. It's a no-win combination."
I'm afraid Ben was right. It was not a winner like the other six recipes. Perhaps I should try it again with less Vegemite. I think maybe I'm just not that big a fan of alfalfa sprouts. Sorry, Gabby!
*************************************Vegemite Challenge Cumulative Conclusion
I really like Vegemite. Like, really.
Despite the mediocre last day, I was hooked on Vegemite. Therefore, my original hypothesis was wrong. An adult CAN acquire the taste for Vegemite. In my case, it only took two days.
Since the start of the challenge back in September (has it really been that long ago?!), I have adopted Vegemite into my weekly breakfast routine -- most often with a fried egg and cheese or on a Sao cracker with a tomato. For the last four months, I have eaten Vegemite at least twice a week.
I also brought some home at Thanksgiving for all the parents to try. The only one who took a liking to it was my mother -- another lover of unorthodox food items like me (See Day One - Conclusion Preface).
In addition to being a tasty treat, I feel certain that my Vitamin-B levels are phenomenally pumped (not that I checked them, but the Kraft label says Vegemite is choked full of the stuff so it must be true). Unfortunately, as in the early challenge days, I still prefer to drink a Diet Coke with it, which probably cancels out any nutritious value the Vegemite was supplying to my body. Yes, I have a Diet Coke for breakfast twice a week.
In conclusion, thank you, Australia, for giving the world Vegemite and its yeasty, vitamin-filled goodness. Vegemite will definitely be something that I take away from here and could possibly be something I even crave when I am deficient in Vitamin B.
Vegemite Challenge Day One - On Buttered Toast
P.S. -- Gabby also suggested trying a very Aussie meal of a meat pie with ketchup on top. Anything with the name "meat pie" in it is enough to put me on edge (mystery meat??), but in the name of culinary adventure, I'll try it and keep you posted.