Marmite? Gitarope?
January 20, 2009 3:43 AM   Subscribe

PossiblyBeenGoneTooLongFilter: What's up with all the videos of Americans trying Marmite on YouTube?

Seriously, there are pages and pages of them. Before I moved over to the UK, Marmite was like Yorkie bars - something you had to buy online or from a local British food specialty shop. One local supermarket chain tried stocking it, but it quickly gathered dust and went on the Get It Out Of Here cheapie cart.

Is this a viral campaign of some sort? Where's the interest coming from? Is it suddenly easier to buy?
posted by Grrlscout to Society & Culture (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's a lot easier to buy than it is to eat.
posted by caddis at 3:53 AM on January 20, 2009

Perhaps it stems from this review which was previously posted on the blue.
posted by gergtreble at 4:35 AM on January 20, 2009

Marmite is gross, and enough Americans know that to cajole their buddies into trying to. We actually had an office pool going for who could eat a spoonful of Marmite while watching 2girls1cup. Lots of people put into the pool in hopes of seeing a mass puke fest. But in the end we had to call it off, since everybody backed out after we opened the jar and they smelled it.

It's a lot easier to buy than it is to eat.

According to the passive-aggressive note on the empty supermarket shelf here, Marmite is no longer available in the US due to some sort of FDA troubles and the unwillingness of the manufacturer to navigate them. Apparently it wasn't selling well enough to jump through the hurdles.

Actually, I can't remember... the note may have been about Vegemite. It's also very interesting that the information I find on US *mite availability says that it's perfectly available, but that there was an untrue rumor of a Vegemite import ban. So then I wonder why the market's note said it was no longer available. Or even existed, for that matter, since I don't usually find markets devoting empty shelf space to advertising the absence of a product.
posted by Netzapper at 4:48 AM on January 20, 2009

Response by poster: Got the LOLBritishFoodEww thing, but what I didn't understand is how so many of these random girls in the midwest seemed to know what Marmite was... then develop a sudden interest in eating it... then go to the trouble to find Marmite... then film themselves doing eating the stuff. I mean, where'd they find it in the first place?

Don't get me wrong, I love the stuff, but... was it in a film or something?

(Netzapper - evidently, a game show in Hong Kong that a friend of mine used to watch would use a piece of toast with about half an inch of Marmite on top as a challenge. None of the contestants could eat the entire single slice of the toast.)
posted by Grrlscout at 5:11 AM on January 20, 2009

They still have it at my local grocery store here in San Francisco, and I LOVE marmite.
posted by zeoslap at 5:28 AM on January 20, 2009

It's on the shelves of several mainstream grocery stores here in Laurel, MD (halfway between D.C. and Baltimore), with the other international foods.
posted by justonegirl at 6:51 AM on January 20, 2009

My mom spent a significant amount of time in the UK as a child, and developed a taste for the stuff. As far as I can remember, we've always been able to find it in the US, living in the Northwest, Northeast, and Southeast. And that was 80s Northwest, before it became "cool."

I also think that USians have, in general, become quite enamored with the Brits- potentially stemming from the Blair / Bush buddy-buddy days, or perhaps the influx of British films and television shows- many of which feature the stuff. I know that my expat British friends of both sexes deeply having lost their accents, because we Americans go so gaga over them.
posted by charmcityblues at 8:14 AM on January 20, 2009

You know how people post videos of someone seeing 2girls1cup for the first time?

It's exactly like that.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:42 AM on January 20, 2009

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