Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Oh, My Guinness!

I received a jar pot of limited edition Guinness Marmite through a rather byzantine series of shenanigans. It was delivered to me one night almost surreptitiously, like a dope deal, albeit in a large, public roomful of fellow food bloggers.
This jar pot had traveled over the Atlantic and across the states to find me. What was even more exciting and arcane, the procuring of the jar pot took weeks of searching and miles of scouting. Phone calls. Visits to the manager. Detective work worthy of Inspector Clouseau. (No, even worthier: Mission accomplished! Clouseau couldn't have done it. Bravo, embee.)
I was thrilled to receive my rare stash, and that evening I flashed it several times in the direction of bloggers I thought would appreciate my good fortune.
To a man (and a woman), they went "Ew." "Why?" "Whuh?"
Have they never heard of umami? Marmite is umami in a jar pot.
Knee-jerk jerks. They don't know what they're missing.
I've tasted Vegemite; it's similar but the texture is more like Crisco and the taste is cruder, saltier. Marmite is liquidy, like molten brown liquorice.
I tried my stash for the first time yesterday on toasted Wheat Levain from Brickmaiden Breads. I knew the drill, having observed a French friend decades ago using a similar brew (or maybe it was Marmite) on his toast: butter first, then a stingy, thin scrape of Marmite over that.
It was... heavenly! Oh mommy umami. Umarmalade. (Yes, I know it's not sweet, but there was a candied sensation of hot fudge on vanilla in my mouth.)
I tried it again today on Semifreddi Sweet Batard, and it was... heavenlier. I think white bread really points up the contrast with the Marmite. Wheat bread is already a little caramel-y, a little graham crackery. So I'm on an upward learning curve, and so far, so good.
My questions to those of you more experienced in the joys of Marmite (oh, come on... there must be a few of you):
  1. Am I getting this halfway right?
  2. Does Guinness Marmite taste different from regular Marmite? Because this jar pot probably isn't going to last long.
  3. What else can I do with the stuff?
  4. You think it would be terribly wrong of me to rub a (thin) coating all over the chicken I'm planning to roast this evening?


Anita said...

"Umarmalade"! :D


Annie said...

I love Marmite! I only just recently discovered it. Great stuff, tastes like cheese. I like to spread it on hot toast with garlic slivers and a slice of cheddar.

Barbara said...

I haven't tried the Guinness marmite but I eat the regular one several different ways. Today I had it on white bread with butter. I like it on grain toast with avocado, or toast two pieces bread and while it's still hot add butter, marmite, grated cheese, slap the other buttered piece of toast on top. The cheese softens into the marmite from the hot toast.

rob said...

Sadly, I'm one of those people who does not understand Marmite addiction. I think I have only myself to blame. The first time I tried the stuff I made a fatal mistake: not knowing any better, I spread it on my plain toast with the thickness of peanut butter. Oh dear god it was horrific. I've seen the Guinness version, however, and really want to try it. I am, oddly enough, rather jealous of you right now.

Sean said...

Gulp. I had Vegemite in Australia a few years ago. I found it ... gag-worthy. And I eat ANYTHING. So. You'll need to convince me on this one. Consider it a brunch date. ;-)

Pille said...

I brought back a jar of Guinness Marmite from London in April, but am ashamed to admit I haven't opened it yet. I do use Marmite, but not on my toast - I add a squeeze (yep, I've got a squeezable bottle) of it to stews and sauces for an added depth :)

WokandSpoon said...

I love both vegemite and marmite! when I was little I used to have marmite and cheese sandwiches (or vegemite and cheese sandwiches)!
Another comfort food thing for me is rice porridge with marmite! mmmmmm!

How did your marmite roast chicken turn out?

ChrisB said...

CC I am so glad you have tried and liked it. Not too thick, spread of toast with butter is sooooo yummy, and I agree with Barbara about cheese. Personally I don't think there is too much difference between the regular and guinness.
I have a little book of marmite recipes( I'll post a picture tomorrow) I even found these Gary Rhodes recipes when I googled.
I also found this (some sound hideous like Marmite Strawberry/Peanut Butter Melt (Angel)-no thank you!!

jennywenny said...

My friends who are still back in the homeland say that guinness marmite is exactly the same as normal marmite, so you should be fine, although it is a cool label.

I think it goes very nicely under cheese on toast with a super strong cheddar.

You're unfortunate in missing out on the fantastic adverts in the uk, where someone chugs down a pint of gone off milk to try and get rid of the marmite taste, and the one which had to be taken off the air because it was scaring children: a massive glob of marmite running down the road scaring people.

Monkey Gland said...

1. Am I getting this halfway right?

Yes, white toast, butter, marmite - no messin'
2. Does Guinness Marmite taste different from regular Marmite? Because this jar pot probably isn't going to last long.

Probably a bit different, I have yet to but a pot myself as I fear change.
3. What else can I do with the stuff?

Cheese sarnies (toasted or not), ham sarnies, marmite soldiers dipped in a soft boiled egg, an english muffin spread with the black stuff with a poached egg atop, marmite and cream cheese bagels!

4. You think it would be terribly wrong of me to rub a (thin) coating all over the chicken I'm planning to roast this evening?

Do it!! Tell me how it works out!

cookiecrumb said...

Anita: U dolling.

Annie: See, I trust your taste. And you've just discovered Marmite and you love it. Thanks for the confirmation. And cheese? Never woulda thought of it.

Barbara: Another vote for cheese! I can totally see it with avocado. I just asked all you pros because I didn't want to make Yankee mistakes, like soaking my sushi in shoyu (just a dab, please) or drinking the fingerbowl. You've liberated me.

Rob: On the Marmite Web page, there is a love/hate link, and you might be a hater. You would not be alone. (Go on, buy some!)

Sean: Vegemite is a lot harsher. But yes! I would love to convince you over slow-scrambled eggs and sweet batard toast.

Pille: I completely understand you using it to add depth, the way I might use some anchovy past or a few drops of soy sauce. (I discovered the squeezable jar on the Marmite Web site.)

WokandSpoon: Third vote for cheese and Marmite sandwiches. We're onto something, here.
I think Marmite in rice porridge sounds divine.
(Did you really believe me about the chicken? Because, yes, I did it, and it was soooo good.)

ChrisB: All thanks goes to you, my cloaked mystery procurer -- and your henchman, embee. Thank you, thank you both.
OK, another vote for cheese with Marmite! And you are a dear to dig up links to those recipes (I'm a dolt for not thinking of it myself). xxx

Jennywenny: I appreciate your judgment (and Chris's) on the flavor comparison. Whew!
Actually, I might like to see those horrible ads. Wonder if they're on YouTube? Probably.
Oh, and cheese!

Monkey Gland: Ahhh. Solace and encouragement. And humor ("I fear change"). :D
Thanks for the other recommendations. Cheese! I guess that settles it.
Also, I really want to eat a Marmite soldier dipped in a soft-boiled egg, but I don't know what it is. Narrow slices of toast, perhaps?
Egg and Marmite... drool.
OK, now I've got to go write about the chicken. It was insane! As in insanely good.

Sam said...

I have the marmite cookbook - I could lend you a wee while.

Sam said...

ps - I cant taste the difference but regular marmite is vegan whereas guinness marmite is not even veggie cos guinness is made out of dead little babies or something like that.

El said...

Umami is my bitch, baybee! I might just need to get me some marmite. Though I'd hesitate if it were made of little babies, like Sam said.

Monkey Gland said...

Yup, make some toast, butter and marmite, cut it into 1-inch or so strips and you have every British under 5's breakfast of choice.

cookiecrumb said...

Sam: Are we supposed to be boycotting Guinness? I'm an omnivore.
(Ooh! Marmite cookbook!)

El: There's another way. Just don't buy the Guinness Marmite. :D

MG: Thank you!!! I'm so impressed with myself for guessing right. (Without Marmite, I would dunk buttered soldiers in my orange juice as a child. Really good.)

Beccy said...

I can taste a slight difference between the two and like them both.

cookiecrumb said...

Beccy: True connoiseurship. I will, of course, be trying the "regular" next time.
(Yay, you're back home.)

kate said...

i can tell the difference - just - but was pretty disappointed there wasn't more guiness-hoppyness... it sounded like a heavenly marriage and now i don't really care if they stay together. Ho hum. marmite recipes? good white bread toasted covered in peanut butter - the good stuff made from ground up nuts an no nasty palm oil, a thin smear of marmite and topped with thinly sliced raw onions. It's the business. kate

cookiecrumb said...

Kate: You're scaring me! I'm still a beginner here. Gah, peanut butter, Marmite and onions?
Still... Oh, you know me. I'll try it! Yow.

Catherine said...

I'm behind on my reading. Try it on the sliced pugliese from AG Ferrari with Kerrygold pure Irish butter and marmite. Never tried the Guiness marmite. Sandwiches on very fresh brown bread with butter are also good. Then...you learn to make twiglets. So when are you inviting me over for food?

Sam said...

Not enough marmite on that toast.

cookiecrumb said...

Sam: I'm new to this business, as you know. I could bend your ear with the ways I've tried Marmite now... Still yum.