What is vegemite?

A. A bitter, greenish jelly made from a tropical fruit that Australians spread over cheese and toast

B. A mixture of spinach, cabbage, and lima beans that is puréed and often served in Australian school cafeterias

C. A type of nut butter made from nuts and peas that is popular in Australia

D. A spread made from brewer’s yeast that was a favorite of Australian soldiers during World War II 


Vegemite, one of the most popular Australian foods of the 20th century, was invented in 1922 in Melbourne by a food manufacturing company named Fred Walker. A spread made from brewer’s yeast (and hence a strong source of B vitamins), vegemite was slow to catch on at first. But intense promotional efforts (including a limerick competition with compelling prizes such as Pontiac cars) propelled the spread to fame. During World War II, the Australian Army purchased huge quantities and it became immensely popular among soldiers, especially after rations of the British spread Marmite became scarce. Vegemite received official product endorsement from the British Medical Association in 1939. By 1942, it was said to be in every kitchen in Australia.

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