Jun 022011

My life would not be worth living if I lived in Denmark. The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration has just banned the sale of Marmite. Apparently, any foodstuff fortified with minerals and/or vitamins has to gain special exemption to be sold in Denmark.

Other foodstuffs facing a similar ban, under legislation passed in 2004, include Rice Krispies, Shreddies, Horlicks and Ovaltine.

Marmite, a bi-product of the brewing industry and first developed in my home county of Staffordshire, England, is fortified with vitamins B6 and B12.

For as long as I care to remember my breakfast has consisted of cereal, orange juice, Marmite on toast, and coffee. When I first moved to the United States in 2000, one of the first things I did was track down a store selling Marmite.  I became a frequent visitor to the British Emporium in Grapevine, Texas.

Moving to Jacksonville, I was not so lucky. Jacksonville being Jacksonville has no store selling British foodstuffs. However, recently the Publix supermarket I visit on a weekly basis has started a small selection of British food items, including Marmite. Publix only stocks the small jars and they are  prohibitively expensive. My supply now comes from British Delights, based in Connecticut. I order the 500 g jars online.

Marmite is one of those strange foodstuffs that you either love or hate.  I love it. Back in Britain, one of my favourite snacks was Marmite on toast made with Hovis bread baked by a local bakery — Marsh’s of London Road, Stoke. A couple of rounds and I was in seventh heaven, at least as far as my tastebuds were concerned.

Marmite was first manufactured in 1902 at Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, and is still made there today. The town has an association with brewing that goes back centuries.

[Based on a report by The Copenhagen Post.]

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