Echoes of Vegemite – it’s an Aussie icon

Vegemite painting with txt

Vegemite is an Aussie icon. If you haven’t heard of it, allow me to introduce you! The vegemite  tube in the above photo is a special edition put out for the last Olympics. Usually it comes in jars of varying sizes. Aussies travelling overseas are known to either take it with them or go to extreme lengths to source it.

Alas, it is not readily available overseas. Some would say that is a good thing. I would say it’s an acquired taste. In the same class as caviar, or blue vein cheese for instance. TRH (The Retired Husband) violently disagrees. In his opinion it is bear s***t.

But then some people are just neanderthals when it comes to refined tastes. What I would agree with is that vegemite is one of those things where a little goes a long way. A small jar of it lasts me several years.

I vividly remember this early TV advertisement for vegemite.

I also remember watching this video of three famous overseas judges

on the Australian Voice being introduced to the delights of tasting vegemite.

Not sure that they have yet joined the hallowed ranks of us vegemite lovers.

My vegemite paintings

You may have been wondering what the paintbrushes and artist’s palette were doing in the first poster.

Vegemite has another, not so well known use. You can paint with it!

That’s right – you can.

These photos on the left are the beginnings of two of my vegemite masterpieces.

I first came across vegemite art in a little known art gallery in the Adelaide Hills. Peter Browne who has since moved to Sydney uses only his forefinger and a jar of vegemite to create his vegemite masterpieces.

I, on the other hand, being a first time vegemite artist novice, resorted to paintbrushes. I am ashamed to admit that I also used oil pastels and coloured pencils. Here’s the finished products –

Vegemite portraitVegemite landscape

© Raili Tanska

32 thoughts on “Echoes of Vegemite – it’s an Aussie icon

  1. Wow! It doesn’t sound or look very appealing. Do you like it a whole bunch? I guess if I were born and brought up there I would or could like to eat it. If I would ever get to go to Australia, I’ll try it. Maybe one day, my boyfriend has an uncle and aunt and cousins who live there. His uncle married an Aussie. We got an invite to visit. Maybe one day.

      1. That’s the know, the base, but it has other added flavours – you know, the secret ingredient kind. I like it on toast – just a mediumish scraping of it.

    1. It’s very salty – a bit like a strong beef stock cube 🙂 Some people use it to flavour savoury dishes, stews, gravies. Some even make it into a hot drink. – Has a lot of Vit B in it

  2. I would never have the courage to try it based on its description. But I also will never forget the day, oh so many years ago during the popularity of the “vegemite sandwich” song, when a popular radio DJ in Dallas, Texas tried it on air. Someone had brought Ron a jar from their travels. He tried it…the next sound we heard was the jar hitting the trash can.

  3. I like it – we ate it a lot as kids. But a little does go a long way. I don’t eat it so much nowadays, but my preferred way of eating it was on fresh white bread and butter. Just a thin scrape, however! And the bread has to be proper bread, not that cotton-woolly sliced and packaged stuff.

  4. I’ve heard all about Vegemite from the various Australians I’ve met over the years. Generally, they wax lyrical about the stuff. I’m afraid I’m still not desperate to try it, though. 🙂

    1. However, if you get the chance, you shouldn’t pass by the experience 🙂 It’s unique – and not so bad. Really !! Tip – just don’t gulp a spoonful by itself.

  5. I LOVE Vegemite!!!! Now i want the tube version!!! I especially lije hot vegemite drinks when it’s cold and vegemite on toast! Big dan here! Had no idea art existed that is so funny!!!

    1. So I take it vegemite is available over there ? The vegemite artist had a little studio in Hahndorf (yes, there is a place called that in the Adelaide hills. And you’d never guess that it was established by German settlers !) I noticed from his website he has moved to Sydney and paints for tourists. Bigger market, more exposure. I bet he’s doing really well. His art is unique and he has little overheads given he only uses vegemite and his finger to paint ! No sable hair brushes for him 🙂

      1. It is. It’s bloody expensive but I still buy it 🙂 I’ve never seen the tubes though they are brilliant! I get a small jar as much as I can, and go through it a lot especially in Winter. I didn’t know the art-side of vegemite but who would? Most I know do not like vegemite, their loss our gain my friend

      2. Yeah, people either love it or hate it. I think the tube in the photo was a ltd release edition for the olympics. Though a normal tube version has been available for a long time. A small jar lasts me forever! I think I used half the tube for those 2 paintings, lol !

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