Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Marmite - Gluten-Free Treat from the UK
Marmite is a recent discovery for me - an interesting British / United Kingdom Celiac-safe food product I encountered while on vacation in England a week ago. A friend and UK resident turned me on to the product, which I tried after verifying that it was gluten-free, and I am definitely a fan now.
Marmite is one of those gluten-free foods you'll either love or hate. I just don't think there is much middle ground on this one. In fact, the manufacturer knows this to the point that the Marmite web-site home-page has this rather entertaining "love it or hate it" choice for entering their site!
Let me start by describing what Marmite is and what it is made from. Marmite is a completely vegetarian and gluten-free spread that is essentially a yeast-extract spread that is loaded with flavor and has tons of B-Vitamins! The full ingredient list is: Yeast Extract, Salt, Vegetable Extract, Niacin, Thiamin, Spice Extracts, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Celery Extract, and Vitamin B12. The B-Vitamins and yeast and spices make for one seriously intense flavor! It's a bilt salty, and otherwise nearly indescribable as I have little to compare it to.
I first tried Marmite plain, as I didn't have any good gluten-free bread or crackers handy. But, today I tried it on some fresh made gluten-free biscuits my wife baked up (she's experimenting with recipes again). The biscuits were great on their own, and with a bit of Marmite (used sparingly - a "serving" is consider to be 4 grams) they were quite delicious also.
I'm not sure if there is anywhere nearby where I can purchase more Marmite here in the USA. I will keep my eyes open in the international-cuisine aisles and such, and worst case is I'll have a friend ship me a couple more bottles. The friend that introduced me to it has a bit of an addiction to Marmite it seems (he demonstrated eating it plain as he used a squeeze-bottle to dispense enough to fully cover his tongue as his wife watched in disgust), so I'm sure he would be nice enough to mail some to me.
My wife has been considering using Marmite to create some more flavorful gluten-free gravies and other recipes. I'm personally wondering if it'd add a nice yeasty flavor to some gluten-free breads as well. Regardless, I'm already a fan!