Will Dylan Eat It: Marmite (Part 2)

The Maitre d’s initial nonchalance about the Marmite and cheese didn’t stop him from making this face a little later on:


No, I have no idea why he did that. Maybe he came across the pubic hair I slipped into the sandwich when he wasn’t looking. Or maybe the Marmite slipped into his brain and tried to take over his body, in order use him as a puppet to help its dark masters conquer the world.

Man, I’ve gotta stop watching late-night sci-fi movies before writing these articles.

Alien brain slugs hidden in Marmite aside, the Maitre d’ had this to say about the Marmite and cheese:

It’s not one of those snacks that you take a bite of and then want to
eat as much as you can stuff in your face. The taste is a bit
jarring–the cheese and the Marmite are both very strong flavors. But I
can’t say I haven’t craved it a time or two since the experiment.
That’s mostly the cheese, though.

Fortunately, to counter Dylan’s non-reaction to the Marmite and cheese, we have another victim to torment. After taking a whiff from the jar, Jen wasn’t about to try Marmite by itself (remember what I said about many people outright hating the stuff). The Maitre d’, after promising to do various things I promised not to ever mention to Jen’s husband, talked her into trying a bite of the sandwich. This was the result:


She was not impressed. In fact, she wonders how I manage to not only eat the stuff, but enjoy it.

For the next phase of our experiment, I decided to step away from the paradigm a bit. I briefly considered suggesting a Marmite and crisp sandwich (Marmite and potato chips, to those on this side of the Atlantic), but that wasn’t what we really wanted. After all, the last three experiments have been trying products on bread. We really should try to get away from that. Predictability is the hobgoblin of lesser minds, you know.

Marmite soup?
Marmite soup. Or drink. Whatever.

Fortunately, according to the Wikipedia article, Marmite can be served as a hot drink, ala Bovril. I’m given to understand that, like Bovril, with a bit of onion and cayenne, it’s a favorite among the footballer crowd (Note that this is not the same kind of football played in less-civilized parts of the world. And of course, fans of American football don’t know how to throw a proper riot.).

So we prepared a mug of near-boiling water and a good-sized spoonful of the brown gunk. The water has to be pretty hot to dissolve the Marmite. As you’ll recall, Marmite has something of the texture of molasses in winter.

A little stirring, and the soup was ready. A few slices of onion (the Chef does love his stinky vegetables) were thrown on top for garnish. We didn’t have any cayenne pepper, so we threw in a dash of chili powder for a similar enough flavor.

By the way, in Sri Lanka, this is said to be a good cure for a hangover, albeit with a fried onion instead of a raw one. Speaking for myself, I will say that it isn’t bad in that role, and does well as a morning pick-me-up. Bovril does make a better “tea”, though. It’s even a rather pretty reddish-brown color:

Pretty, pretty.

Are you sure this shit's not going to kill me?
Are you sure this shit’s
not going to kill me?

With the Marmite fully dissolved, Dylan looked down into the mug with trepidation. Indeed, he seemed as if this mug of brownish liquid was forcing him to confront his own mortality. The question was, would Dylan eat (well, drink) this, or would he chicken out?

About The Chef

The Chef was born 856 years ago on a small planet orbiting a star in the Argolis cluster. It was prophesied that the arrival of a child with a birthmark shaped like a tentacle would herald the planet's destruction. When the future Chef was born with just such a birthmark, panic ensued (this would not be the last time the Chef inspired such emotion). The child, tentacle and all, was loaded into a rocket-powered garbage scow and launched into space. Unfortunately, the rocket's exhaust ignited one of the spectators' flatulence, resulting in a massive explosion that detonated the planet's core, destroying the world and killing everyone on it.

The Chef.
Your host, hero to millions, the Chef.
Oblivious, the dumpster containing the infant Chef sped on. It crashed on a small blue world due to a freakish loophole in the laws of nature that virtually guarantees any object shot randomly into space will always land on Earth. The garbage scow remained buried in the icy wastes of the frozen north until the Chef awoke in 1901. Unfortunately, a passing Norwegian sailor accidentally drove a boat through his head, causing him to go back to sleep for another 23 years.

When the would-be Chef awoke from his torpor, he looked around at the new world he found himself on. His first words were, “Hey, this place sucks." Disguising himself as one of the planet's dominant species of semi-domesticated ape, the being who would become known as the Chef wandered the Earth until he ended up in its most disreputable slum - Paris, France.

Taking a job as a can-can dancer, the young Chef made a living that way until one day one of the cooks at a local bistro fell ill with food poisoning (oh, bitter irony). In a desperate move, the bistro's owner rushed into one of the local dance halls, searching for a replacement. He grabbed the ugliest can-can dancer he could find, and found himself instead with an enterprising (if strange) young man who now decided, based on this random encounter, to only answer to the name “Chef".

His success as a French chef was immediate (but considering that this is a country where frogs and snails are considered delicacies, this may or may not be a significant achievement). Not only was the Chef's food delicious, it also kept down the local homeless population. He rose to the heights of stardom in French cuisine, and started a holy war against the United Kingdom to end the reign of terror British food had inflicted on its citizens.

When the Crimean War broke out around France, the Chef assisted Nikola Tesla and Galileo in perfecting the scanning electron microscope, which was crucial in driving back the oncoming Communist hordes. It would later be said that without the Chef, the war would have been lost. He was personally awarded a Purple Heart by the King of France.

After that, the Chef traveled to America, home of such dubious culinary delights as McDonald's Quarter Pounder With Cheese. He immediately adopted the Third World nation as his new home, seeing it as his job to protect and enlighten it. When the Vietnam War began, he immediately volunteered and served in the Army of the Potomac under Robert E. Lee and General Patton. During the war, the Chef killed dozens of Nazis, most of them with his bare hands.

Marching home from war across the floor of the Atlantic Ocean, stark-naked and freezing, the Chef wound up on the shores of Mexico. He spent several years there, drinking tequila with Pancho Villa and James Dean. He put his culinary skills to the test when he invented the 5,000-calorie Breakfast Chili Burrito With Orange Sauce (which is today still a favorite in some parts of Sonora).

Eventually, the Chef returned to his adopted home of America, where he met a slimy, well-coiffed weasel who was starting up a new kind of buffet - one dedicated to providing the highest-quality unmentionable appetizers to the online community. The Chef dedicated himself to spreading the word of his famous Lard Sandwich (two large patties of fried lard, in between two slices of toasted buttered lard, with bacon and cheese), as well as occasionally writing about his opinions on less-important topics than food.

Every word of this is true, if only in the sense that every word of this exists in the English language.