Marmite: te slüt-ordel / the final verdict

Wen'k wä'n knap, Marmite (an Britaz bretsprïd mackti wrun jest) wä vondan met t'otpressaton "The Growing-Up Spread You Never Grow Out Of" [Te firastinsprïd tes ye na zë otfirast], no jüji et'st ohnvéperi tes et na jist älwér: ans lu hatsze intedédh iet. Jex tem säir »Ye liub iet ëg hatsze iet«. No me liub iet.

An pau mantes vorvor, m'aa an axwäith ew tï framkis wrun Norwég. An probofta Marmite, no e na laukimta iet (nanjolressin). E seta tes »et smez wirri«.

»Int wist wäi?« me frog.

»Welzo... et'st tolk an genereli sort wirrinas.«

Me thakje tes ven fïndiave an nüawi slogan vor Marmite.

When I were a lad, Marmite was advertised with the slogan "The Growing-Up Spread You Never Grow Out Of". These days, the makers of the strongly flavoured yeast-based comestible acknowledge that some people do Grow Out Of it, or indeed never like it, and the product is now marketed with the legend "You Either Love It Or Hate It". Allow me to fess up right here and now: I love it; a day without Marmite on toast is (almost) a day incomplete. (I am aware that many will disagree with this assessment; I have friends who regard the stuff as the Devil's earwax and who recoil from it accordingly; they are, of course, wrong, but I am far too polite to say so to their faces.)

So it was with intrigue that I noticed the launch of Limited Edition Guinness Marmite recently. Having consumed an entire jar (over a period of a month or more: I'm not a monster) and compared it back-to-back with the original, I have to conclude that it's OK, but the difference is barely perceptible; the standard product will do me just fine as a beri-beri preventive.

Returning to the subject of Marmite's canonical love-it-or-hate-it character, when a few months ago I was host to two Norwegian friends, one decided he should immerse himself in the British experience to the extent of trying Marmite on toast. Unsurprisingly, he didn't like it, but I was amused to find him trying again the following day "to see if it was any better the second time". It wasn't, apparently. To my enquiry, he replied, "It tastes bad."

"How so?" I probed.

"Well... it's just a general kind of badness."

I think we've found a new slogan for Marmite.