Marmite and Vegemite: What’s the Difference?

Vegemite and Marmite are brown pastes made from yeast extract, popular in Australia, throughout the British diaspora, and beyond. It's hard to make them look or sound appealing, but devotees love the concentrated umami flavor. So what are the differences between these two brands?

Chowhound user coolbean98 recently conducted a careful, sincere, but admittedly completely unscientific blind taste test of Vegemite and Marmite, finding the Marmite to be more meaty-umami and smoky, with a more rounded flavor than Vegemite, and pleasantly reminiscent of beef bouillon. But on toast, coolbean98 prefers the lighter, saltier taste of Vegemite.

A second blind taster considered the Marmite milder, but still found the Vegemite delicious despite its more harsh taste.

The final taster found both "gnarly." Marmite was more sour and less flavorful, while Vegemite tasted "more like fake meat." Clearly, yeast extracts are not for everyone!

What can you do with Marmite and Vegemite? Chowhound jadec likes Marmite stirred into congee (rice porridge), noting that this is probably a Singaporean/Malaysian thing. boogiebaby agrees, and enjoys making and eating a Malaysian dish called Marmite chicken, consisting of fried pieces of chicken tossed in a Marmite sauce. It's very savory, and definitely needs a side of rice to offset the intensity of the sauce!

ChervilGeorge's sneaky chef's trick is to stir a teaspoon or two of either Vegemite or Marmite into stew or Bolognese sauce—it adds an umami kick, but no one will be able to guess the source.

Finally, when it comes to savory spreads, Pata_Negra prefers a third contender to either Marmite or Vegemite: the meat extract Bovril. Try it if you can find it, Pata_Negra says!

Discuss: Marmite vs Vegemite Taste Test

Photo by Flickr member AZAdam under Creative Commons