Friday, April 29, 2011

Marmite Very Peculiar Milk Chocolate

Marmite Milk ChocolateLast month I got a fun little treat from Santos of Scent of Green Bananas that I wasn’t expecting. It’s the Marmite Very Peculiar Milk Chocolate.

Marmite is a popular spread in the United Kingdom and other countries of the crown such as South Africa and New Zealand (though each has a different variation). It’s made from yeast extract and is rich in B vitamins. It was popular during the wars especially because it provided important vitamins and minerals for children that were otherwise scarce in their protein poor diets. In addition to the yeast extract there are some other flavorful vegetable additives such as onion, garlic and celery.

The idea of adding savory items and flavors to chocolate is not new. However, Marmite is probably one of the most savory of all ingredients as it’s pretty much pure umami with a little dash of salt. Umami is one of the five tastes that we can perceive with the tongue. The savory notes of food are made up of glutamates and nucleotides. Things can be savory even without salt, think of unsalted beef broth.

The peculiar part of this chocolate makes up very little of its bulk. The ingredients list that 98% of the bar is milk chocolate. The remaining 2% is Marmite.

Milk Chocolate (Sugar, Whole Milk Powder, Cocoa Butter, Cocoa Mass, Emulsifier, Natural Vanilla), Marmite Flavouring (Yeast Extract, Lactose, Salt, Sugar, Citric Acid, Vegetable Oil, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Flavouring (contains Celery), Marmite Extract).

Marmite Milk Chocolate

My desire to eat this bar is very low. I’ve never had Marmite, but I have tried Vegemite, a similar product from Australia. It’s quite salty and has a strong savory flavor with a hint of vegetable broth. It was very smooth, almost like a jelly. After photographing this bar I left these little pieces pictured here on the shooting table but sealed up the rest of the package for later sampling. I intended to return and put the chocolate away after dinner, but didn’t get around to it for several days. When I returned to the room (which I keep shut up, because I have a dog), I feared that I had an insulation fire. It smelled strange, there was a hot, burnt plastic smell in the room. So I felt the walls and inspected the outlets and turned all the lights on and off. I went outside and looked at the house and sniffed around in the closets above the chocolate studio. Later I came back into the room and realized that it was the little pile of chocolate pieces.

I admit my mind is not open.

Opening the package again, it’s not really a burnt smell that I was greeted with. It was the smell of vitamins. You know, that vaguely yeasty smell that comes with those horsepills that are fortified with B vitamins and maybe even a few minerals. It’s not bad and maybe there’s a little hint of milk in the background. I’m trying to adjust my head to think that it’s molasses and other earthy flavors that I enjoy.

The snap is good and the initial bite gave me a mild salty note along with the milky chocolate. It’s a little malty and yes, there’s a savory and peppery sort of taste to it, kind of like cheese. But there’s also a little hint of the sulfurish onion and garlic. There’s also a little mineral note towards the end that reminds me of dried milk, sweat and that weird flavor in the back of my throat when I have a sinus infection. There’s also a lot of salt, about 300 mg per bar, which is about 100 mg per serving.

I’d say that it’s okay. I think the idea of a yeast extract infusion to add flavor and vitamins to chocolate isn’t a bad one, but the fact that there are those more vegetable flavors in there does not create a pleasant combination.

I admit I only had about four bites of this stuff. While it is peculiar, it’s not enough to keep me interested enough to continue eating it.

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Name: Marmite Milk Chocolate
Place Purchased: gift (thanks Santos!)
Price: unknown
Size: 3.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 154
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Chocolate, 5-Pleasant, United Kingdom

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:25 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry     All NaturalCandyReviewChocolate5-PleasantUnited Kingdom

  1. ha! i admit, i haven’t tried mine yet. although i like marmite, i should be okay with this. theoretically. maybe.

    Comment by santos. on 4/29/11 at 6:14 pm #
  2. Well I love Marmite, esp on toast and dipped in tomato soup - but not in chocolate! This bar actually made me feel sick!

    Comment by cinabar on 5/01/11 at 7:13 am #
  3. Cybele, you certainly described this c-bar excellently. I can (almost) taste all the flavors!

    Depends on the cost, I would try. Not over 2 bucks though. No.

    Very familiar w/Marmite & Vegamite.

    As a baker of many years, anything can be melted/mixed-up/into chocolate. A very easy/simple thing to do.

    Comment by Marcee on 5/01/11 at 11:52 am #
  4. I have to laugh that you described it as the taste of a sinus infection. That disgusting musty smell/taste?

    Yeah, I hate Marmite so I wouldn’t have been trying this one anyway. Ew!

    Comment by pam on 5/02/11 at 1:37 pm #
  5. I love Marmite but I’ve not managed to find this in the stores I go to, with Easter coming up I’m back on the chocolate hunt so I’m going to try get hold of some of this, probably will end up ordering it online as it’s simply not in the UK supermarkets right now.

    Comment by HGW on 3/13/16 at 10:06 am #
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