An article by Danielle Hayden posted
on BBC New 14 October 2016
Panic spread across the UK as it emerged that the much-loved yeast extract Marmite was at risk of being removed from the nation’s supermarket shelves. But what is the story behind this most British of brands?
In the late 19th Century Liebig stumbled across the delicious realisation that brewer’s yeast could be concentrated then eaten. Yum. Not long after, in 1902, the Marmite Food Company was founded in Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire – a place where the raw ingredients were readily available from the town’s many breweries.
Since the 1920s, Marmite has been sold in its distinctive bulbous glass jars, with a picture of a marmite pot on the red and yellow label a reminder of the origins of its name.
The brand is more popular now than it ever has been, but it had its heyday when it first came out because it was the only food at the time that could give people vitamin B.”
The early 20th Century saw Marmite become a classic British savoury treat as it was included in World War One rations. It would remain popular among troops and civilians alike in World War Two and beyond – it was sent out to homesick British troops in Kosovo in 1999.
The original recipe for Marmite contained yeast extract, salt, spices and celery. Later, folic acid, vitamin B12, thiamin and riboflavin – vitamins that occur naturally in some foods – were added in high concentrations, but the exact composition of the spread remains a trade secret.
The yeast extract became so popular the Burton factory could not keep up, so the company converted a former brewery in Vauxhall in London into a second plant. The smell from the site was said by one resident to be “disgusting” although the tangy whiff of Marmite-making is no longer an issue as the factory closed in the 1960s.
Today, the Marmite plant in Burton produces about 50 million jars a year, most of which are consumed domestically. While beloved of Brits – if not those who live within smelling distance of its production – the brand is not so popular in other parts of the world.
In 2011, Marmite was banned in Denmark because it fell foul of the country’s law restricting products fortified with added vitamins.
It can be almost impossible to find on the shelves of many foreign countries’ shops, and has been named as one of the top food items British people take abroad with them.
In 2000, as Marmite entered its third century of dividing opinion, the brand, which had been bought by CPC International Inc, merged with international goods supplier Unilever. But despite its status as being part of a vast multinational company’s portfolio, even today this most British of products is still made in Burton.
Residents remained so proud of the spread that in 2010 a monument, nicknamed the “Monumite”, was put up in the centre of the town, making Marmite quite literally an iconic product.
Mr Liebig, the lovers of Marmite salute you. Here’s to 100 more years of a love-hate relationship.
An exiting way to preserve pears found on frukt.no
A yummy and slightly different marmalade with pear, saffron and chili. The marmalade goes great with fried meat and it makes a delicious sandwich spread.
A historic wild fruit recipe found on World Turn’d Upside Down
Stephanie Ann Farra who runs ‘World Turn’d Upside Down‘ writes: When Pehr Kalm, a Swedish-Finnish naturalist, visited Pennsylvania in the 1750s, he remarked that crab apples were plentiful but were not good for anything but making vinegar. Crab apples have a reputation of being a useless fruit and a nuisance. As Pehr Kalm suggested, I had actually intended to make vinegar out of my collection.
Once the tweeting birds were replaced with squawking crows, too close for comfort, I decided I had enough to make a small container of vinegar and one of preserves of some kind. I took the collection home and rinsed it in a few washes. I was still unsure of what kind of preserve I wanted to make. I was stuck between making marmalade and jelly. I ended up making jelly because more people would enjoy it.
The principle of a French pâtés – a mixture of meat (or fish), herbs, lard, wine etc., cooked in a casserole dish or in a puff pastry – was launched in France as early as the Middle Ages. The best and finest pâtés comes from South West France – Perigord and Armagnac. The trick to making a pâté consists in finding good harmony and balance between taste and aroma. A good pâté will not taste significantly of just one ingredient, but should be an aromatic, indefinable whole.
These pâtés are always eaten cold, it makes the favours come together the best. A pâté should preferably be made the day before it is to be served. It can be stored for up to one week in the refrigerator and served as an appetizer, an evening meal or as sandwich spread.
The caviar mousse and caviar cream in these recipes are made with unsmoked roe from cod or similar fish and that makes for a lot milder and smoother taste.
Although the peanut has a long history, having been found in Peruvian mummy tombs, peanut butter is a relatively young food.
In 1890, an enterprising physician, Dr. John Kellogg (of corn flakes fame), created peanut butter as a healthy protein substitute that was easy to digest for patients with no teeth. The manufacturing process was mechanized by George A. Bayle, Jr., and a patent for a peanut-butter machine was issued to Abrose W. Straub in 1903.
In 1904, peanut butter came into the limelight at the St. Louis Universal Exposition by concessionaire C. H. Sumner, where it was promoted as a health food.
When innovative agricultural scientist Dr. George Washington Carver developed an improved version of the butter, it attracted even more enthusiasts.
In 1922, peanut butter was commercially-born when J. L. Rosefield of Rosefield Packing Company of Alameda, California perfected a process to keep the oil from separating in the peanut butter along with spoilage prevention methods.
He marketed this commercial peanut butter under the name Skippy as “churned” peanut butter, which was a smoother, creamier version of the coarse-textured original.
Today, more than half the American peanut crop goes into the making of peanut butter, but surprisingly, the majority of peanut butter consumed in the United States is imported.
Federal law mandates that any product labeled as peanut butter must contain at least 90 percent peanuts, with the remaining 10 percent restricted to salt, sweeteners, and stabilizers.
In 1992, statistics showed Americans alone consumed 857 million pounds of peanut butter or 3.36 pounds per person.
An American-born favorite, peanut butter quickly became not only a nutritious food, but also a comfort food for most Americans born in the 1900’s. Now its popularity has spread throughout the world. October is Peanut Butter Lover’s Month.
Text from about.com
This pâté makes a delicious evening meal served with crispy bacon, pickled gherkins and beets, roasted onions and a mushroom salad with paprika, parsley, oil/vinegar marinade and baguettes or wholemeal bread.
Liver pâté has been staple sandwich spread for children here in Norway since long before I was a kid back in the fifties and sixties and ads for the different commercially produced pâtés are blatantly geared towards children and their parents, claiming liver pâté keeps the children fit and makes them strong. The oldest product has even for decades had a picture of a child on the lid on their tins.
I’m a good example that this kind of advertising works, I still greatly enjoy a sanwich spread with the same liver pâté I ate as a child (the one pictured here). Of course with pickled gherkins or beets as my mother would make them back then. There are a lot of good memories in good food – Ted 😉
A strongly British inspired recipe found on
the Norwegian site imagasin.info
There are many different recipes for rhubarb curd and the applications extends much further than just as sandwiches and biscuits topping – Rhubarb curd can be used as filler in cream cakes, chocolate cakes and not least in rhubarb tarts. Here’s one recipe.
This gorgeous, velvety curd can be made up to two weeks in advance, and if kept in a cool place will keep for up to one month. An ideal present for a hostess or a good friend.
Fruit curd is a dessert spread and topping usually made with lemon, lime, orange or raspberry. The basic ingredients are beaten egg yolks, sugar, fruit juice and zest which are gently cooked together until thick and then allowed to cool, forming a soft, smooth, intensely flavoured spread. Some recipes also include egg whites and/or butter.
In late 19th and early 20th century England, home-made lemon curd was traditionally served with bread or scones at afternoon tea as an alternative to jam, and as a filling for cakes, small pastries and tarts. Homemade lemon curd was usually made in relatively small amounts as it did not keep as well as jam. In more modern times larger quantities are feasible because of the use of refrigeration.