Updated 5/28/01
Some of you hard rockers may remember the 1981 "Men at Work" hit "Down Under", where amongst other Australian virtues they extol their primary food source:  Vegemite.  (Lyrics)

Some of you may ask what is vegemite?  Well, here's how it comes direct from Mother Nature:

You may not be able to read the text on Mother Nature's wrapper, but under the title is the telling phrase:  "Concentrated Yeast Extract".   MMMMM GOOOD!

Here's what it looks like in its natural habitat, an English Muffin:

Just like they serve in the finest restaurants!  "But Alex, what does it smell like?", you may ask.  Well gentle readers, we're here to tell you.  More accurately, I'm going to let a picture stand in for a thousand words, and let Mom show you what it smells like:

Gretchen was the only one daring enough (Yay, Gretch!)  to try this right before our flight to Cairns ("Cans"), and she really did give it a go.  Really.  SEE:

See there's already a bite taken out of the muffin?  That just means Vegemite isn't toxic, it doesn't mean it's not nasty.

Some thoughts she had on how it seems to taste or smell:

"Like a burnt bouillon cube"
Acrid, salty odor (not aroma)
Like cat furball remedy (which is made from brewer's yeast)

We are pleased to report that after this experience, Gretchen lived, and also did not hork up a furball all day long.

Yay Gretch!


Update May 19:

Now that we're back and I've got more time to do some research, I checked out, which is Kraft's official web site.

Wow!  What a plethora of information on the subject.  I guess Philip Morris has their web people doing more than just mitigate their tobacco image problem.

The site has some cool pics, and there's even a vegemite song!  You have to check this out.

Mom, Gretch and I each brought some vegemite home, despite the urgings of the Customs folks (they weren't concerned about bringing it into the country, they just thought the stuff was nasty), so if you want to try some, see us soon!  Because our supply WILL BE GONE by the apocalypse....


Also, I cited the Down Under song incorrectly.  Here's the text of that verse:
    "Buying bread from a man in Brussels
    He was six foot four and full of muscles
    I said, "Do you speak-a my language?"
    He just smiled and gave me a vegemite sandwich
    And he said,

    I come from a land down under
    Where beer does flow and men chunder
    Can't you hear, can't you hear the thunder?
    You better run, you better take cover."

    (c) 1981 (Colin Hay / R. Strykert)

And what does "chunder" mean?  It means to vomit.  I looked it up, so you don't have to.

Update from 5/28:01

I got out the bottle of Vegemite I brought home (40 grams should last the rest of our lives) and gave it to a couple of guys from the TV station.

Cory's response to the tasting was to drink a whole can of Barqs and ask "WHY?!"

Captain Kluski says: "It tasted like you smashed a couple cubes of Herb-Ox with a hammer and smeared it on your bread.  I like it!"

A mixed review from the Newington contingent.
To break the tie, we gave some to the little Bitty, who ate it gladly.

Thus the vote from Newington is that it's okay.