What Is Marmite (aka the Queen’s Favorite Spread)?

marmite jar

Sure, the tiaras and four-cocktails-per-day habit may be out of reach for us mere mortals, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t start your day like a total queen. Introducing Marmite, the savory British spread that has her majesty’s seal of approval (and therefore, ours). Here’s everything you need to know about this regal ingredient.

Wait, the queen eats it? Yes. Well, maybe. It could also be the Duke of Edinburgh or the Prince of Wales. Here’s the deal: Marmite has a Royal Warrant, meaning that it has been supplied to the royal family for at least five years. Other foods to receive the honor include Quaker Oats and Johnnie Walker because, you know, life is all about balance. So, while there’s no way of knowing exactly who in the royal household loves it, the point is that someone does, and that’s good enough for us.

Got it. But what is it? Marmite is a sticky, dark brown spread that’s made from yeast extract, vegetable extract and spices.

What does Marmite taste like? It tastes, well, yeasty. Think: Salty and strong, sort of like a soy sauce paste. It’s so strong, in fact, that its own marketing campaign centers around the slogan “you either love it or hate it.” Safe to say that it’s an acquired taste.

And how do I use it? The most common way to enjoy Marmite (and how we like to imagine Queen Liz eating it) is to spread it on buttered toast alongside a lovely cup of tea. But Marmite’s uses go way beyond breakfast—it’s also a great way to add umami to a dish. Add a dollop to soups, stews and casseroles for an extra hit of salty goodness. And if you’re feeling really brave, try it in a dessert recipe. Chocolate cake with Marmite caramel buttercream, anyone?

I’m intrigued. Where can I get it? If you don’t have a lady-in-waiting to do your grocery shopping for you, don’t fret. You can pick up this British ingredient on this side of the pond from our friends at Amazon. Now excuse us, we have a kettle to boil. (And some Googling to do—how does one get a lady-in-waiting, anyway?)

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Alexia Dellner

Executive Editor

Alexia Dellner is an executive editor at PureWow who has over ten years of experience covering a broad range of topics including health, wellness, travel, family, culture and...
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