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I came across this little gem a couple of months ago at a friend's house who was kind enough to let me have a taste as he knew how much I liked Marmite. So I have been on the hunt for this little jar ever since then. I finally came across a jar of Marmite XO after much searching and can vouch for it being even better than its counterpart and usual Marmite.
Love IT or Hate It Campaign!
You may well be familiar with Marmite and their advertising campaign which States 'You Either love it or Hate it'. It certainly is a product that has a national love/ hate relationship with citizens of the UK. However I absolutely love Marmite so I am in the Love camp so to speak.
Marmite is a by product of brewer's yeast and many firms pay the manufacturers to take away their spent Yeast for processing. It is through this processing that they are able to turn the yeast into marmite. Marmite XO is manufactured and matured four times as long as the normal Marmite which makes it so special. XO stands for extra old.
Marmite was first discovered by a German Scientist in 1902 but never caught on. It was then made in the UK with a couple of additions to the recipe which was much appreciated by the British palate and has been going strong every since. There are other varieties of Marmite made around the world notably Vegemite in Australia and New Zealand which is the equivalent of Marmite but it tastes slightly different in that it is sweeter. Marmite is now made in the UK by Unilever.
What does Marmite XO look like?
The jar of marmite is surrounded by a black cardboard box with a hologram and coat of arms which states the words Solis Amantibus. The nearest translation I have found is 'bitter sun' however Marmite is in no way bitter.... Ok it might be a little to some tongues!!! Along the base of the box is a gold bar which makes it look special.
The Jar is like the normal shaped jar of marmite but that is where it ends because the label on the front is black and gold with the distinctive words of marmite on the top and -X-O- printed underneath. The top is black as opposed to the usual yellow lid and is sealed with another seal to ensure that it has not been opened.
On the back of the jar it says
'Extra Old using four specially selected yeast sources our master blender has crafted the secret marmite recipe and matured it four times longer to create a marmite so strong and full bodied it can only be for the most devoted of lovers'.
But what does it taste like I hear you say?
Opening the jar and taking a great waft from the jar you are immediately hit by the smell of vitamin B complex however this smell is much stronger and a deeper smell than the usual marmite. It still looks the same as the normal marmite being characteristically brown in colour but a much deeper kind of rich brown colour and appears to be a tad thicker too.
The taste of Marmite XO is a deep strong rich beefy taste which carry's on lingering on the palate for a while after having swallowed your food. The interesting thing is that no meat is used or goes anywhere near this product and it is suitable for vegetarians.
The best way I find of eating Marmite is on hot buttered toast. Remember that this product is extremely salty so only a very thin layer is necessary on your toast. I have seen quite a few people spread Marmite on their toast as if it is another kind of spread and this could be the reason for them not liking it. The thinnest spreading of marmite will suffice and will make your taste buds come alive.
Marmite is the perfect accompaniment with Cheese and can be spread on bread before other fillings are added to the sandwich. Marmite certainly enhances the taste of the cheese.
You could add a tad portion of marmite to mashed potatoes or pasta to give it a bit of a kick or to soups or gravy if you want a meatier taste without the meat!
Historically many parents introduce Marmite to their toddler's diets by making bread soldiers to dip in their eggs with a slight scrapping of marmite on it. The reason for this is the goodness of the vitamin B complex that it contains. Also I might add is that Marmite is a good mosquito deterrent should you be in an infested overseas location. The mosquito's hate the smell of thiamine which apparently they can detect the vapour through the skin thereby giving you a wide berth. I always take daily marmite on toast for at least a week before I go abroad and whilst others have been bitten alive in some cases I thankfully have remained bite free however I would like to add at this point I would not rely solely on Marmite if you are in a high malaria infested area.
Would I recommend it?
If you like marmite you will love it. It is more like the Vintage Champagne of Marmite as opposed to the normal marmite only being a Cava! I would thoroughly recommend Marmite XO if you have discerning good taste! Is it worth the £3.99 for a 250g jar!!! ABSOLUTELY YES! I would give it six stars but only allowed to give it 5. My only gripe is that it is not widely available in all shops.
Per 4g serving.
Salt (Based on Sodium) 0.40g
A good source of Vitamin B complex including B12, Thiamine, Niacin, Riboflavin and Folic Acid.
You know it's good for you!!
I LOVE IT!
This is strong. No, Marmite is strong. This is SUPER strong.
Now - the adverts have always proclaimed that you "either love it, or hate it" and, in this case, it would be impossible to love this if you don't already like the regular product.
This is Marmite on steroids. This is Marmite if it was making a special effort to get itself into shape before a title bout - which it has arranged with your taste buds. And I love it.
Beautifully packaged and in a supercool black and gold pot which makes you feel like a breakfast time ninja this is a lovely gift for the family Marmite lover - I actually thought that this had been brought out especially for Christmas when I saw it first! The presentation box proclaims some lovely boasts about the production process and the strength of the taste - it does not disappoint.
How does it actually taste? Well, like Marmite. But stronger - much stronger while actually managing to be richer and smoother. Sound good? Well it is - an altogether nicer Marmite experience.
It is pricey - but no more so than the squeezy variety, and this is far more glamourous than squeezing it onto your toast.
If you love it - get it.
I've really acquired a taste for this, such an improvement on the original Marmite
First sniff and it's a rich, deep caramelly, stronger marmite smell. Not much help I know but you can't pin down this unique product.
Taste original Marmite and it's thin and salty; XO is thicker tasting, richer and more aromatic. I can't go back to the original now.
Marmite haters will say it smells and probably tastes of creosote or some floor tile adhesive. It has the same consistency.
It's a great replacement for the old original: for me on hot white toast or warm brown bread, on Ryvita biscuits or to give a boost to a tasteless sauce.
It supposed to be good for you, lots of vitamin B. So if you like Marmite this is a bonus if you cannot bear the taste of yeast like me which the only other way to get a worthwhile dose of this supplement.
The XO pot is attractive, sophisticated black as against the old red and yellow colour scheme. The XO for Extra Old I suppose is emulating a fine brandy grade. This product has apparently been matured four times longer than the ordinary stuff though don't know how long that is matured.
It has the same ingredients but something has been tweaked to make it very much more tasty.
It's available everywhere and at Tesco is currently about £3.99 for a 250gm pot, though I got three for two the other day. Ordinary Marmite is closer to £1.54 for a 125gm pot
Well recommended to all lovers and one to steer very well clear of to all you haters.
Do try it. Roll on the XXO version.