Ever heard of marmite or vegemite? Many of us know these two foods only by reference, but when the time comes, making a mistake can be very easy when you need to pick one or the other. The truth is, marmite and vegemite are not the same food, so you should be aware of their differences.
Next time you find yourself discussing marmite or vegemite with your Australian or British friend, you will have a real opinion on which choice you prefer.
What Is Marmite?
Marmite is a yeast extract spread that was discovered by German scientist Justus Freiherr von Liebig in the 19th century. This spread is British, and it was first found as the leftover yeast from brewing yeast.
Marmite was first commercially available in 1902 by the Marmite Extract Company.
Most people eat marmite on toast with butter, but it can also be used on a cheese sandwich. Marmite has become a staple in some kitchens as well because it adds umami to all kinds of dishes, including soups, sauces, stews, and more. In some cases, marmite can also be used in desserts, like brownies or cookies.
The main ingredients in marmite are glutamic acid-rich yeast extract, salt, vegetable extract, spice extracts, and celery extracts. However, the exact ingredients in marmite are not known and remain a company secret.
Marmite contains a ton of vitamins and minerals, so it is always a good addition to your diet but keep in mind that it is not gluten-free.
Despite the exact ingredients not well known, it is a fact that marmite is nutritious. 100 g has the following nutritional content:
- 260 calories
- 34 g protein
- 0.5 g fat
- 30 g carbohydrate
- 10.8 g sodium
- 6.8 mg riboflavin
- 69 mg niacin
- 1250 µg thiamin
- 24 µg vitamin B12
Is Marmite Good For You?
This gooey brown spread may not look appetizing, but it is a very nutritious food to add to your repertoire. The flavor is certainly strong and not for everyone, but those that like it, swear by it. Marmite contains virtually no fat and is high in protein, and it can be fairly healthy food.
However, as you can imagine, because it adds umami it also adds a ton of sodium. One serving size of marmite has about 166 mg of sodium, which is around 7% of your daily recommended value. Marmite is very salty, and you should avoid it if you are sensitive to sodium.
Marmite is also high in certain vitamins, including the B complex. This is important because not many non-animal food sources contain these vitamins. You can pair marmite with the rest of your foods if you are a vegan or vegetarian and avoid deficiencies.
Vitamin B12 is essential for brain function and energy. The rest of the B vitamins are important for your cognitive functioning as well. You can also obtain antioxidants from marmite that can help prevent damage to your tissues.
Overall, marmite is good for you in moderation. You should limit the amount of marmite you eat if you suffer from high blood pressure or have a sodium-restricted diet. Be careful with the amount of sodium you add to meals if you are also including marmite.
What Is Vegemite?
Some people consider vegemite the “Australian copycat” of the British marmite. This is also a dark, brown spread made with yeast extract and flavored with spices and vegetables. Like marmite, vegemite is fat-free and sugar-free, but it is not gluten-free.
Vegemite is a staple for Aussies, and they are known to carry it everywhere, even traveling with a container abroad. This spread is also meant to go on toast but can be part of sandwiches, pastries, and savory dishes.
When it comes to vegemite, you should only add a little bit at a time because it has a very strong flavor.
The main ingredients in vegemite are yeast extract, salt, malt extract, vegetable extract, and B vitamins. Like marmite, vegemite adds umami, but it is also slightly bitter and very strong. Some describe vegemite as a concentrated soy sauce.
Like its counterpart, vegemite is very nutritious. 100 g has the following nutritional content:
- 191 calories
- 25.9 g protein
- <1 g fat
- 11.1 g carbohydrates
- 8.4 g fiber
- 3.3 g sodium
- 11 mg thiamin
- 8.6 mg riboflavin
- 50 mg niacin
- 2,000 µg vitamin B12
Is Vegemite Good For You?
Just as marmite, vegemite can be a good source of protein without added sugars or fat. Still, this spread is also a concentrated source of sodium, which be dangerous in some cases.
Australians swear by this spread and often add it to other products to increase their nutritional content.
Because it contains B vitamins and protein, vegemite is good to have around for vegetarians and vegans. Vitamin B12 is particularly important for this group of people because they can’t obtain it from animal sources. This vitamin is essential for adequate brain function and energy.
Since it contains yeast extract and salt, vegemite is also a source of added sodium. One serving of vegemite has 165 mg of sodium or the equivalent to 7% of the daily recommended value for this mineral.
Consuming vegemite should be limited for people with high blood pressure or those that follow a sodium-restricted diet.
Like marmite, vegemite is a great source of other B vitamins and contains antioxidants as well. Consuming this spread can help protect your body from oxidative damage and inflammation. Be careful not to exceed the amount too much, as it may result in excessive consumption of sodium.
What Are The Key Differences Between Marmite and Vegemite?
At first glance, marmite and vegemite look the same. However, one of the main differences you may notice is their appearance. Vegemite is dark black and thick, almost like peanut butter, while marmite is brown and has a syrup-like consistency.
You can also differentiate these two products by their flavor. Some consider marmite to be a milder and sweeter version of vegemite, which is more bitter and stronger in flavor. Trying out vegemite first can sometimes scare people, as it is a potent spread that should be consumed in small amounts.
The ingredients in marmite are not available to the public, so for the most part, people speculate as to what else is in it aside from yeast extract. On the other hand, vegemite discloses all of its ingredients like yeast extract, salt, malt extract, vegetable extract, and B vitamins.
Another key difference between these two foods is the fact that they are from different places. Marmite is a staple in the UK and Europe, while vegemite is Australian and may be available in New Zealand. Depending on where you live, you may find one or the other more easily.
Finally, the last difference is the use of each. Because marmite is milder, it can be added to many foods without much problem, including snacks, sauces, soups, and more. However, vegemite is very intense and thick, so it is used more sparingly.
|Origin||The United Kingdom||Australia|
|Consistency||Sticky and syrup-like||Thick and solid at room temperature|
|Cuisines||British and European||Australian and New Zealander|
|Taste and Smell||Umami and salty flavor, and smells yeasty and almost meat-like||Umami, salty, and bitter flavor. Smells like chicken broth and yeast|
|How To Cook||No need to cook, simply use a knife to spread over toast, bread or add a little bit to your cooking. ||No need to cook, simply use a knife to spread a very small amount on toast, bread, or baked goods.|
|Cooking Time||No cook time||No cook time|
|Calories per 100 gram serving||260 calories||191 calories|
Is Marmite or Vegemite Healthier?
Whether marmite or vegemite is healthier is a tough question because these two are very similar nutritionally. However, as you can see in this article, there are some nutritional differences between these two. If you want fewer calories and more fiber, go with vegemite.
When it comes to sodium, marmite and vegemite are practically the same, as both have about 165 mg of sodium per serving size. This makes both of these spreads very salty, which can be unhealthy for some people.
In terms of flavor, you are better off using marmite because it is milder and pairs easily. Vegemite also tends to have less protein, so you can increase your protein value by adding marmite.
In the end, either one is safe in moderation and which one to use highly depends on what brand you can find nearby.
Now you will not feel left out or confused when your friends are having the never-ending debate on marmite and vegemite. You can choose one or the other (or both!) using the information in this article. If you still haven’t tried either, look for them and try each one on your favorite bread!
*image by paultama&ToscaW/depositphotos