Would you eat this Vegemite?
July 7, 2014 10:43 PM   Subscribe

Found an unopened jar of Vegemite in the back of the pantry. Best Before date of November 2007. I opened the jar, and it smells right, and the little daub i took with my finger tasted right. Vegemite doesn't actually go bad, does it? I'm highly inclined to eat this. Any reason not to?
posted by colin_l to Food & Drink (27 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Hell yes, I'd eat it. But I'm Australian and have lived in India with limited Vegemite options.

Side note: today my kids and I blind taste tested Vegemite, Marmite and Promite. (The LittleTaffs voted to send the Marmite to Scott Morrison.)
posted by taff at 10:46 PM on July 7, 2014 [7 favorites]

I mean, on the one hand, Vegemite is
mostly salt and yeast (which would crowd out most competing microorganisms), so if it tastes right, it probably won't serve you worse than new Vegemite. On the other hand, "fresh" Vegemite is like $3 at the store.

I guess it's really a question about how much worrying about this will affect your enjoyment of it.
posted by kagredon at 10:47 PM on July 7, 2014 [2 favorites]

"best before" is not an expiration date, it's just the manufacturer's suggestion of when it may start to taste less good. Eat it.
posted by zug at 10:50 PM on July 7, 2014 [5 favorites]

I would totally eat it because (1) the likelihood of vegemite going off to the point of endangering your health but not showing any sign of it is slim to none; and (2) vegemite is hell of expensive (where is it $3? Not in Australia!).
posted by nomis at 10:51 PM on July 7, 2014 [3 favorites]

I'm an American so my conception of Vegemite pricing is probably wildly outdated if it was ever true at all

actually I think I just assumed it was similar to what peanut butter costs
posted by kagredon at 10:54 PM on July 7, 2014

It's so salty, nothing will grow in it. Eat it and become one with the gods. (Our household name for it is "the snot of the gods")
posted by viggorlijah at 11:06 PM on July 7, 2014 [4 favorites]

I ate a whole load of seriously out of date marmite a few years back. It was still delicious. It did not seem to have any ill effects. The texture, look and feel were all affected though, and eventually I replaced it (nearly got to the end!) because it was so hard to spread. I'd eat your vegemite without a question!
posted by kadia_a at 11:15 PM on July 7, 2014

Only if you would normally consider eating Vegemite.

(Like the salt, blarg to the yeast)
posted by BlueHorse at 11:26 PM on July 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

If it is still performing as normal, probably okay to eat, being about 99% salt, or something like that.
posted by Coaticass at 11:33 PM on July 7, 2014

I have in fact seen Vegemite go mouldy. No mould no foul in my opinion. Eat away.
posted by arha at 11:33 PM on July 7, 2014 [5 favorites]

I'm pretty sure Vegemite and Marmite aren't even made of atoms, they're some sort of exotic matter like a Bose-Einstein condensate. Definitely eat.
posted by XMLicious at 12:07 AM on July 8, 2014 [10 favorites]

I have a mostly-empty jar that expired in early 2008. (It fell to the back of the cupboard; don't judge.) I had some on toast a couple days ago, and I'm still here. Eat it.
posted by MeghanC at 12:26 AM on July 8, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best before, not Use By? I'd eat it if it looks and smells fine.
posted by harriet vane at 12:27 AM on July 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

If it says "best before" rather than "use by" it will generally still be okay to eat after the date, it just might taste bad. Since you're talking about Vegemite I'm not sure how you'd tell the difference.
posted by Justinian at 12:28 AM on July 8, 2014 [3 favorites]

Another vote for eat. Vintage vegemite! 2007 was a good year.
posted by superfish at 12:46 AM on July 8, 2014 [6 favorites]

Yeah, eat it. It can go stale and taste a bit flat though, not all spritely and salty and delicious like it should.

(Don't ask how I know, or I'll have to tell you about my grandmother's soups which she flavoured with a spoonful of Vegemite. The older she got, the less Vegemite she'd use day-to-day on her toast, so the more likely it was that the Vegemite in the soup could be 10 years old. And you could tell.)
posted by malibustacey9999 at 1:04 AM on July 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

No. I would throw it away and buy some Marmite.

(But really, yes, I would eat seven-year-old *mite.)
posted by ComfySofa at 1:25 AM on July 8, 2014 [4 favorites]

I'd suggest trying it topically first. If that works out okay, then it's probably safe to reach for a spoon.
posted by Packed Lunch at 2:17 AM on July 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Eat eat eat eat eat the vegemite on hot buttery toast while you sing...
"We're happy little Vegemites
As bright as bright can be
We all enjoy our Vegemite
For breakfast, lunch, and tea
Our mummies say we're growing stronger
Every single week
Because we love our Vegemite
We all adore our Vegemite
It puts a rose in every cheek"
posted by latch24 at 2:43 AM on July 8, 2014 [7 favorites]

I think HP Lovecraft once considered this question. His response:

"That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons even death may die."

It's fucking vegemite. It's not like it's going to get any worse.
posted by tim_in_oz at 4:57 AM on July 8, 2014 [15 favorites]

Anything that chooses to grow in Vegemite would be better for it.

Also, because the Christchurch earthquakes prevented it from being made for a couple of years, 2007 vintage would have fetched a pretty price back in the day.
posted by arzakh at 6:10 AM on July 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

I wouldn't. It's seven years past its best before; seals on jars can and do degrade, allowing oxygen in, which allows certain nasty beasties to get in and flourish.

Toss it. Vegemite is cheap.

(Culinary professional, lots of food safety training. This is more or less one of the textbook 'no, never' things.)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:55 AM on July 8, 2014 [2 favorites]

Just found this:
previous question about expired Marmite.

TL/DR, he ate it, he survived.

No Australian I know would tell you not to eat it. Well not for food safety reasons. Texture might be shite, but it will not hurt you.

(The person up thread who saw mould on Vegemite... that would have been on contaminating butter or bread.)
posted by taff at 9:08 AM on July 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Go on, live dangerously. There are sad expats around the world who would shoot a panda for that jar.
posted by Jilder at 9:09 AM on July 8, 2014 [5 favorites]

I've eaten vegemite that old. Bon appetit! I find the very idea it could expire vaguely insulting as an Australian.
posted by smoke at 8:03 PM on July 8, 2014 [3 favorites]

Culinary professional, lots of food safety training.

Commercial food safety practice is a very good thing and errs on the side of caution so that we have a reasonable expectation that commercially prepared food is safe to eat, but it’s not really designed for edge cases like Vegemite and Marmite. As noted above, many of us have eaten from jars that are old, or have even been unsealed for years with no hint of ill effect; the stuff is a really hostile environment for bacteria. The taste and particularly texture doesn’t improve with extreme age, but it’s not harmful.
posted by Quinbus Flestrin at 10:11 PM on July 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

... really hostile environment for bacteria...

I remember using it science class in petri dishes to grow ... bacteria? I never had an interest in biology and it was a long time ago though.

But regardless, I'd eat it.
posted by jacanj at 6:31 AM on July 9, 2014

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