“So it’s like a quasi-vegetable byproduct paste that you smear on your toast for breakfast,” Obama said of the stuff. “Sounds good, doesn’t it?”
[Editor’s note: The following Matador Community blog was chosen by editors to be republished here at the Network.]

ACTUALLY MADE FROM SPENT YEAST from Australia’s breweries (you can’t get more Aussie than that), the mere mention of Vegemite is enough to not only draw a chorus of “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi’s,” but can inspire feigned retching sounds from those unlucky sods yet to acquire a taste for it.

Since moving to the United States I’ve had more arguments about Vegemite than I have about Obama-care and the metric system. “Try it,” I urge them. “We have,” they insist, and then one crawls into the fetal position while the other rocks back and forth and gnaws at her hair. These people have been Vege-smited.

Vegemite must enter virgin stomachs gently and sometimes Aussies can be a mean people who, rather than subtly convert someone to the wonders of Vegemite, may choose instead to give them a spoonful of the stuff, assure them it’s much like chocolate (it is not), then post the resulting mayhem on YouTube.

So in celebration of Australia Day, here’s a ten-step guide on eating of the black gold we Aussies love so much.

How to eat Vegemite and alienate people
  1. Buy Tim Tams. No matter what your opinion of Vegemite, having these chocolate-coated biscuits (they’re biscuits or bickies in Australia, not cookies) on hand will make you feel better.
  2. Obtain Vegemite. If, while in Australia, you are not willing to commit to a full jar, hotels often have sachets big enough for one serving. Keep in mind that Vegemite can be used for other things, so that jar may come in handy. I’ve been told it acts as a makeshift shoe-polish, pesticide, and zit cream. (If in the States, prepare to pay big. US$17.50. That’s how much this Aussie loves her Vegemite. Back home the same sized jar retails for about six bucks.)
  3. Toast bread. It doesn’t matter what kind (I’m not even getting started on the white bread argument — one battle at a time).
  4. Smear bread with butter or margarine (Nuttelex is the vegan variety, much like America’s Earth Balance).
  5. Dip knife in Vegemite jar.
  6. Halve the amount on knife.
  7. Halve the amount on knife.
  8. Apply to toast.
  9. Take a bite.
  10. Lie and say you hate it. You’ll make an Aussie feel superior.