I approach this topic with a sense of trepidation, not least because I'm painfully aware that whichever stance I choose, half the population will object.

The Legend

How Warhol would have perceived it

Thatcher on toast?

Just The Facts

  1. Marmite emerged from Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, Englandland
  2. You WILL either love it or hate it, dammit!
  3. Marmite can be described in all seriousness as "umami."

So what's the deal?

Marmite is a prime example of why Britain shits a huge loads of awesomeness every morning before it (possibly) brushes its teeth, puts on its shirt and goes out to continue spreading its awesomeness. Whilst probably haplessly merry and engaging in his favourite past-time, brewing, a thrifty Englishman happened upon an idea which would change culinary history. FOREVER.

Now not only could the British drink beer, they could eat the tarry gunk that came out of the 'shit' chute on Santa's moonshine home-brewer. Originally it was marketed as a vegetarian alternative to the ubiquitous tar-snack Bovril; that is until the people of Britain decided nothing was worth drinking unless it was brewed in a barrell or a pot and started spreading it on their freaking toast.

The infamous marketing slogan which dares you to "Love it or hate it" predictably draws slurs of "It's alright" from those dicks who think they can out-wit the advertising industry, so we implore you to beat them around the head with a jar of this wonder-sludge* and educate them thus:

*Please don't really, we're all booked up with court appearances until June 2012

Good for you?

Perhaps laughing maniacally to themselves whist making money off saps by selling them sludge-in-a-jar, The Marmite Food Extract Company inadvertantly provided the nation with one of the most nutritional substances ever to grace their palates.

Each portion of Marmite contains a shockload of B vitamins:

Thiamin (Vitamin B1) - maintains healthy nerves and muscles

Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) - produces natural steroids, maintains healthy eyes

Niacin (Vitamin B3) - helps release energy from food

Folic Acid (Vitamin B9) - maintains healthy blood

Vitamin B12 - assists with most of the above.

All but B12 (which is added during manufacture) occur naturally in the sticky goodness. And don't forget B vitamins, specifically Folic Acid, are highly recommended for consumption during pregnancy, which makes Marmite a popular choice with those imminently popping out sprogs. I guess what I'm saying is that the woman who bumps you out of the way to get to a seat on the subway is incubating one of the next generation of super-strong, sleekly-reflexed, hawk-sighted, utterly tenacious warriors.

How does one make such an elixir?

Well the spoilsports down at Unilever (who now own Marmite) won't release the official methodology behind Marmite production, but it's rumoured to be linked to tonicity.

When a cell becomes surrounded by a substrate such as salt or sugar (hypertonic), all the water rushes out of it to dilute the substrate, a process you may recall from biology lessons is called osmosis. By mixing yeast cells with salt, the merry Englishman triggered autolysis, which basically means cell suicide. To increase the brutality of this macabre death, the mixture is then heated, and smoothed out to be bottled and sold to the masses.

So just remember, when you're spreading this primordial ooze on your kids' toast tomorrow morning you're preparing them for a life of melancholy and bitter disappointment by giving them a daily dose of death.

Special Editions - for your delectation

Britain's never been one to leave out the Irish

Champagne for the lady on her special night?

And just in case we didn't hate cricket enough

For those who can't be trusted to use a knife

What? WHAT?

There are many more abominations of this precious British resource, and when times get dire/you move out of home for the first time, don't forget there's always...

A British love affair

The British embrace this curious concoction as a child of the motherland, a product of a great nation who only wanted to get drunk and procure the perfect lunchbox simultaneously. Even those who ally with the 'hate' camp dislike it fondly, like a grandparent or someone else's children. Many pretenders to the throne have been tossed aside as inferior:

Damn Aussies, they always try to go one better!

So, next time you sit down to mock the British for their vile teeth and misunderstood humour, just remember, when the oil runs dry and the trees grow no more, our superior race of super-soldiers will be hawking this stuff to once-powerful nations so their political/military leaders can nourish themselves just enough to draw the pistol up to their temple, and then Britannia once again will rule the waves. And we'll be blind-fucking-drunk while we do it.