I was checking out our digital statistics and saw there was one story that kept coming up even though it was one of our older pieces. Where'd the Marmite go?! was clearly something you felt strongly about – and it sparked a discussion in our journalist chat group that had me in stitches.
Those against Marmite were baffled and couldn’t understand why anyone would lament the absence of the yeasty bread spread. In fact, some were “quite shook” that anyone would opt for the yellow-top pot over beefy Bovril.
Sjoe, did that take us down a path . . .
Somehow peanut butter, fish paste (toast is the preferred vehicle for optimum consumption, obviously) and liver polony (a weirdly odd-coloured paste also known as liver spread) all got dragged into the conversation.
For some it took them right back to their childhood days when milky tea accompanied sandwiches with said spreads – and not necessarily in a good way.
And everyone else I speak to about it has clear feelings on the subject too: you’re either a Marmite or a Bovril fan and to love both is practically sacrilege.
Food can evoke strong emotions in us, whether good or bad. It triggers deep-seated memories and can instantly take us back to a time when we loved or loathed a meal.
There’s a reason cooking is shown in so many films as a way to win someone’s heart and you’ll always remember the childhood dish that made you feel better no matter how badly the day was going.
Even now you’re likely to have a go-to meal for those days when things are just too tough. You know the one – a guaranteed pick-me-up.
And you never really forget a dish that made you violently ill. I can still remember being about five or six, being sick for hours after unwisely eating a big bag of fudge.
So it’s little wonder people feel so strongly about the whole Marmite-versus-Bovril situation.
Maybe you feel like your identity is wound up in either of the two bulbous bottles and choosing one over the other says something about you.
Perhaps your family was always a Marmite home or a Bovril household and you simply can’t imagine breaking the tradition. Or you actually just prefer the taste and texture of one over the other.
Whatever it is, let nobody judge you for your choices – food is 100% personal, after all.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some lunch to sort out and it may involve a certain savoury spread.