Launched back in 1922, Vegemite might look dodgy in the jar but the taste is so strong and salty – how could you not love it?! Indeed it is estimated that eight out of 10 Antipodeans have a jar of the Aussie invention somewhere in their home.
But not, perhaps, for much longer… Australia’s government believes some dry communities should consider limiting the sale of the popular yeast based spread – which started as a war-time substitute for Marmite – because it is being bought in bulk and used to make home made alcohol.
Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion says that the problem is most ‘prolific’ in Australia’s Northern Territory and urged local business owners to report any suspicious vegemite sales to the authorities.
Mr Scullion continued to tell The Sydney Morning Herald that, in some cases, children are failing to turn up to school because they are too hung-over and that vegemite is an increasingly common factor in domestic violence cases.
But Dr John Boffa of the People’s Alcohol Action Coalition, who is based in Alice Springs, in Australia’s Northern Territory, says the problem is not widespread.
“We’re talking about an isolated problem in a couple of communities around a very large nation, and a nation where there is a very large number of Aboriginal communities, and every community is different,” he told the BBC.
The malty toast topper was immortalised by the Australian band Men at Work in their 1981 hit, Down Under, and has since become as much a symbol of Australia as the Sydney Harbour Bridge.