This addictively salty spread has equal parts fans and haters.

By Hayley Sugg
May 06, 2021
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Marmite is a product of polarizing opinions. The company even uses the slogan, "Love it or hate it." But what's so controversial about a simple condiment? Well this gooey brown spread, with a thick texture and salty taste, is anything but your average condiment. Find out what goes into Marmite, how it's used, and where to get a jar of your own:

What is Marmite Made From?

Although a British staple, Marmite was actually invented by a German scientist, Justus von Liebig, who realized you could transform leftover yeast from beer brewing into a high-protein by-product. Marmite's main ingredients are yeast extract, salt, and extracts from spices and vegetables. It also boasts added nutrient fortifications, including vitamin B12, riboflavin, and folic acid. The yeast extract contains free glutamic acid, the monosodium of salt that adds a rich umami flavor similar to monosodium glutamate, and gives Marmite its distinct taste.

What Does Marmite Taste Like?

Marmite is, in one word, salty. That's why when you see it used, it's typically a small teaspoon being added to dishes, or a very thin layer smeared onto bread. But it goes beyond salty, with extra deep notes of umami from the yeast and a hint of vegetal flavor from the extracts it features. Some have compared it to industrial-grade soy sauce, but saltier and beefier, if you can picture that.

a jar of marmite next to a piece of toast being spread with marmite
Credit: Nick Potts - PA Images / Getty Images

How is Marmite Used?

The classic use for Marmite is to spread it thinly on a piece of toast with a layer of either butter or margarine. Or serve it with cheese in sandwiches, cheesy toasts, or on crackers. But you can do so much more with this handy little spread. It's easily whisked into soups and sauces for salty boost of flavor, such as in this Fried Rice with Marmite. Or it's excellent stirred into meat dishes to amp up the natural savoriness, like in this Marmite Mince recipe. You could also try putting a dollop in caramelized onions to create the ultimate balance of sweet and salty.

Where Can You Buy Marmite?

Marmite is found in the international section of well-stocked grocery or health food stores, or can be ordered online. But you don't have to stop with your standard jar of Marmite. They offer the spread's beloved savory flavor in a wide range of products including chips, peanut butter, cookies, flatbreads, rice cakes, and cashews. If you can't get enough saltiness, splurge on a jar of Marmite XO, an extra matured variety that has an even stronger taste than the original.

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