Friday, June 11, 2010

Marmite, Smiles and Surprises!

Have you ever eaten Marmite?  It is a British product made from yeast extract, a by-product of beer brewing, and it is enriched with B vitamins to make it a healthy product.  It is a sticky, dark brown paste with a distinctive, powerful flavor, which is extremely salty and savoury with umami qualities, somewhat comparable to soy sauce. This distinctive taste is reflected in the British company's marketing slogan: "Love it or hate it."

I've been curious for a long tome about Marmite ever since I first heard about it, yet it is hard to find it here in the USA and when I did come upon it in a specialty store it would be very expensive.  I decided my first taste of Marnite would have to wait until my first visit to the United Kingdom.

But yesterday a friend and I were shopping together in a discount store and she came upon this cute little box shaped like a suitcase on clearance that contained a miniature Paddington Bear and a squeezable jar of Marmite!  It seems at one time Paddington bear was promoting Marmite in commercials but now has returned to his love for sweeter marmalade. Knowing of my Marmite curiosity, my friend  bought the box and surprised me at my birthday lunch with it along with her other gifts! We had  a lot of giggles squeezing a bit of it onto our fingers to try it.  We decided the odor reminded us of liquid baby vitamins and the taste .... well it really is indescribable!  Strong, piquant, definitely unusual.  She did not like it but I think I did.  I will have to try it as it is traditionally served as a condiment on a cheese sandwich before I make my decision.

Have you ever tried Marmite?  Do you love it or hate it?  What is your favorite way to serve it?

Today is my birthday, but the whole month has felt like a celebration for me!  At my age I feel as if I could not ask for anything else in my life as I feel very blessed, but happy little surprises that make me smile are always welcome. It's the little things in life that count the most.

With that thought I would like to show some wonderful things I have won in blog give aways recently....

A very belated thank you is due to JoAnn, of the blog A Gathering Place, as I won these charmingly whimsical greeting cards by Mitchell Avenue Designs on her blog a few months ago.  JoAnn is a third grade teacher, Mother of 6 and Grandmother of two, with another grandchild on the way.  She has a warm welcoming and delightful blog and I'm sure you'd enjoy visiting her!

This fun trio of vintage kitchen items was a surprise package that came in the mail while I was away in Colorado from Lisa of Lisa RetroStyle blog.  Lisa is an antique restorer and dealer, and was going to be a vendor at the Brimfield Antique Show.  Lisa offered to buy something at the show as a give away on her facebook page, and I won!  I had asked her to look for something made of copper or a vintage book. She found the cute copper coasters and salt and pepper shakers and added the vintage fabric apron. Thank you Lisa -- they are all such wonderful retro items that bring back memories!  If you love middle 1900's vintage you'll love Lisa's blog and her ETSY stores where she sells her finds.

I won this beautiful hand crocheted table topper  made by Marilyn of Our Victorian Cottage on a give away she had last week.  Marilyn lives in a circa 1860's home in a beautiful town in Pennsylvania and has the most magnificent gardens.  She is also a wonderful hobby crafter as you can see by her beautiful work!  Marilyn just finished treatments for cancer and thankfully has a good prognosis.  I'm sure she'd love if you came by her wonderful chatty blog full of cute graphics and fun photos and stop and say hello!

photo source: Alice In Paris Loves Art & Tea

Finally, here is a gift that you can give yourself that will make you smile!  Shelagh, of the blog Alice In Paris Loves Art and Tea is having a second round of her special Artful Pen Pals blog.  Hurry if you'd like to join, as registration ends midnight of June 14!  Shelagh had over 50 participants last year and everyone received at least one penpal letter and some formed lasting pen pal relationships.  If you'd like to receive something other than bills and ads in your mailbox and enjoy the almost lost art of letter writing, why not join in this year?  Shelagh is a folk artist who lives in Nova Scotia and she is a photographer extraordinaire! I was sorry to miss her on her recent visit to NYC as she arrived the week I was away, but I hope to meet her someday as I've been reading her blog long before I began mine and I've always enjoy my visits to her.

Another thing that always makes me smile is my blog visitors and reading blog comments.  You have all added so much to my life and being a part of the blogging community has been such a positive experience for me.  Thank you all!  You have helped to make this day the happiest of birthdays!

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Allie and Pattie said...

Buon Compleanno Amica. Tanti auguri per un giorno bellissimo!
xoxo Patrizia :)

Kat Mortensen said...

Have never tried it. We can get it here easily, since we're a Commonwealth country. I adore Paddington; he's my favourite bear!

Happy B-Day, Pat!


Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Grazie, Patrizia!

PS: My in-laws always called me Patrizia the Italain version of my name!

Grace said...

Happy Birthday!! I have never heard of Marmite till now. You teach me so much! lol I adore all the gifts you won! Thanks for sharing grcae xoxox

Old Kitty said...


It's your birthday!!! :-) And of course you must, must, must celebrate it with a jar of marmite!! And a cuddly paddington bear (optional)!

Marmite is the best thing EVER!!! I have marmite daily on everything - oh ok, not on chocolate or sweet stuff - but everything else is yummy with marmite. And it's good for you too. All that yeast has got to be good. :-)

I hope I've convinced you of the necessity of marmite. Marmite is the heavenly yeasty savoury treacle from the heavens.

Anyway!! :-) What wonderful gifts and giveaways!!! Lovely. Enjoy them all and enjoy your birthday and enjoy your marmite (which you will I promis you!! )

Take care

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Pat!! May you have many, many more in good health & happiness!!
You are very welcome for the table topper!! I am glad you like it!!
Have a Wonderful Weekend!

Lynn said...

You are one lucky lady! And a belated happy birthday to you, too!
I don't know about the marmite, but I did discover the appropriately named "Brown Sauce" in Ireland. I hope to be able to find some at World Market here.

Lisa's RetroStyle said...


Wow you've been on a real winning streak! Good for you:D

I've not tried the Marmite...but I recently tried Vegemite, which I understand is either the same thing or at least very similar. I love food...there's not much I won't eat. Vegemite is possibly the only thing I have ever reflexively spit out! Nasty stuff:(

The Gathering Place said...

Thanks for all the compliments! I think I better link it to my post. You have have won some great things. I have never tried Marmite. I'm not sure I have ever come across it.
I hope you have a great birthday. Happy Birthday!

La Petite Gallery said...

Well Pat, I wish you a beautiful Birthday full of fun
and happiness, and many more. Never tried that Eng. stuff. I have see it around.


Betsy Banks Adams said...

Happy Birthday, Friend!!! Hope you have a wonderful day... You either must enter tons of giveaways --or you are a lucky lady... I quit participating in those things --and in awards -- quite some time ago. Just don't have time to reciprocate.

I've never heard of Marmite--but when you mentioned SALTY--I knew I wouldn't like it. I despise soy sauce --so think I'll stay clear of Marmite.

Hope you have a big celebration today.

Anonymous said...

What wonderful things you've won in the birthday giveaways. Cool!

Hmmm... I don't ever remember tasting Marmite....

I'm watching the World Cup's first game and remembered that it was the same day as your birthday. So, here I am to wish you a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY! May all your dreams continue to come true.

Birthday hug,

P.S. You asked about the U.S. in the games. I think they have a good chance. Anything is possible and I like that they seem confident. ;-)

Kathleen said...

Happy Birthday, Pat! My Irish friend from Brooklyn! Why do people think you are Italian. ;)
Today is dh birthday too!
We are going out to eat...somewhere...hard to find decent reasonable places here.
I never had marmite!
Dying to know if you found anything at CTS! The Tablescaper was there yesterday too!

pam said...

Happy Birthday! I can't believe how many give aways you have won!!! And you made me laugh that you "think you might like" the Marmite. Happy Day! So glad you were born!

My name is Riet said...

Happy Birthday Pat. I hope you have a wonderful day.
Marmite, Yuck. When I was working as a nurse in England about 50 years ago there always was marmite on the lunch or afternoon teatable. I hated the taste of it.So I only tried it once. LOL But in our country we also have things we love to eat and foreigners hate it. That's the fun of traveling to other countries and tasting their food.
Have a great day.

Joanne Kennedy said...

Happy Birthday to you!!!

I have never heard of Marmite before and not sure if I really want to try it after your description :)

You sure do win a lot of giveaways. I enter all the time and hardly ever win. You must be one lucky girl!


Barb said...

Happy Birthday and I'm like you I have always wanted to try marmite but never have thanks for sharing the experience....Barb

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Happy Birthday Pat - You have been having a very lucky spring and early summer. I still haven't tried Marmite, but I think I'd be in the camp of people who hate it.

Claudia said...

Happy birthday - you are in a generous, wonderful circle of delight - just enjoy. The riches are all so lovely - poetical, sweet, charming and must make you smile. I have always wondered about marmite - I did a British plays once-upon-a-time where I was a sullen waitress and everyone was always orderibg "a petite marmite."

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

Happy Birthday!
I have a recipe for Marmite chicken~ I liked it that way, but on toast it is a little strong for me.
I'll link it under a Friday's Favorite!

Judy said...

Happy Birthday, Pat! Wishing you a wonderful b'day celebration...and many blessings in the year ahead.

I have never heard of marmite before...never mind sampling. It sounds 'interesting' it might take a a few test tastes before one acquires a taste.

You have been the lucky recipient of lots of neat things lately. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Lady Patrizia! I love month-long celebrations! You are amassing quite a display of luscious loot and you are the sweetest blog promoter ever! I'll check out all of your recommendations.

Except Marmite.

I'll have to ask my British pal if she likes it. :)

aliceinparis said...

Happy Birthday!!!! Hope you have had a marvelous day. Hope you have an even better year full of WONDERFUL things.
Thanks for the mention:)
Cheers, Shelagh

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

Happy Birthday sweet friend! I hope your day has been extra special...full of happiness and fun surprises! I have never tried Marmite but I've heard of it! lol Have a wonderful evening! ♥

Sara said...

Pat, I hope you have had a wonderful birthday!!!

Love giveaways that you won!!!

Vee said...

Happy Birthday, Pat! Well your friend is just the sweetest to indulge your curiosity for Marmite. No, I've never tasted it nor even heard of it. I'd have to combine it with something else from the way you're describing it.

Lovely gifts you've been winning! My goodness! That crocheted table topper is gorgeous.

Sheila said...

Happy Birthday Pat - I enjoyed reading how satisfied you are with your life. It's a great attitude to have. I have only tried Marmite once and do remember the strong taste. I was advised to use very little. I think it would be an acquired taste and do think I would prefer the chocolate sprinkles used on hot buttered toast in Holland.

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday Pat many you have many more. Congratulations on your wins.

I used to love marmite until my celery allergy got worse so I had to switch to another brand of yeast extract. You can have itin hot water on a cold day, or add a little of roast potatoes, or my favourite is to make it into a sandwich with grated cheese then put it in the microwave until the cheese has melted. It also works in a sandwich toaster.

Shirleyanne said...

Happy Birthday Pat!
Marmite, a definite acquired taste, but I love it on hot buttered toast.
Loved your cards you received! Enjoy your weekend!

Mister Meatball said...

Buon Compleanno!

Fellow Gemini.

Annalisa said...

Happy birthday,and I wish you a wonderful day!

Unknown said...

I love all your goodie....
About the Marmite.....I had a boyfriend from New Zealand for eight years and marmite is huge there...we could get it at World Market and it wasnt too expensive...He ate it on bread with butter...To me, it smells like yeast and tastes worse...I think it is an aquired taste.....I love the package with the bear though....

People Who Know Me Would Say: said...

I missed your birthday! Darn! Happy Belated Birthday!!

You seem to be winning an inordinate number of drawings.....Pass some of that luck to this old broad, would ya? :)

Willow said...

Marmite: tried it, didn't like it. Loved Nutella.

Happy Birthday to you!!!!

Debbiedoos said...

Hate Marmite, husband loves it on saltine me it is like eating tar lol!~ The bear sure is cute though! Happy Birthday to you:)!~ said...

Happy Birthday Pat!
I've never heard of Marmite, but I think now I am very tempted to try it after hearing about your experience with it.
You have won some wonderful things as of late. Thanks so much for sharing them too.
: )

Tracy said...

Hi, Pat! Such lovely treats you've gotten there... Blog friends are the sweetest! ;o) I love Marmite! Haven't had it for years, as we don't have it here... I feel an itch for travel to the UK coming on... LOL! Thanks for stopping by and joining in on my blogiversary fun, and your lovely comments. :o) Happy Weekend ((BIG HUGS))

steviewren said...

Happy Birthday Pat! I've never tried Marmite, but I can imagine how it tastes. We used to drink a concoction of brewers yeast and apple good for you, but tastes so bad!

You have the most extraordinary luck in winning giveaways. I love all of your gifties.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Happy Birthday to you...

Happy Birthday to you...

Happy Birthday, DEAR PAT...

Happy Belated Birthday to YOU!

Oh, I hate that I missed your special day, but I'm so glad you got that cuter than cute Paddington (don't you LOVE him?) and the marmite! Yea!

I wish I were closer so I could take you out and treat you to lunch. If you all get down this way at any point, remember that I owe you a birthday lunch, Pat!


Sheila :-)

Just a little something from Judy said...

I am sorry that I missed the opportunity to wish you a Happy Birthday! Consider this a belated wish for many more fulfilling years.

As for Marmite...I never heard of it. I found your story about it interesting, and will look for it in my travels.

Congratulations on all your beautiful wins. You are a fortunate lady.

black eyed susans kitchen said...

We were just having a conversation this weekend about Marmit! My daughters boyfriend father is English, and we were talking about English delicacies. I am personally not a fan, but then I wouldn't expect many from other countries to be fans of things that I like from my childhood. I do however love Paddington Bear. Read the books to my children for years and years. Did you know that you share that birthdate with my daughter? She turned 20 on the 11th! Happy belated birthday.
♥, Susan

Nola said...

Happy Birthday Pat! I've never heard of Marmite, but if Paddington likes it, that's good enough for me!

Anonymous said...

OMGoodness! i so love this post! it was a pleasure to read....and so much to look at too!

i will go visit 'paris' right after posting this comment!
thanks for stopping in to see me and wishing me some restful repose on my time away!

i'm back now, fully charged and ready to create....come by and have a peek into my latest art journal entry!

ciao bella
creative carmelina

Lisa@GrandmasBriefs said...

A belated happy birthday to you, Pat! I hope it was a wonder-filled one!

podso said...

Yes I've tasted Marmite, when we lived in Africa and it seemed more something our Australian friends ate rather than the Brits, but I may be wrong. I was not crazy about it.

What a lot of interesting things in this post---and lovely gifts you received. And a happy birthday to you!

Anonymous said...

Well, well....YOU had a wonderful birthday and the luck has certainly been with you..all of those WINS! Wow! you buy Power Ball Tickets? Would you share with me (just a million would be nice) when you win the jackpot? :)

I feel the way you do, Pat, on most days.....very blessed...and I try to appreciate the little things in life, too.

Happy Belated Birthday! L, dana

Gracie said...

Sorry to be late, but I hope my best whishes for many more good years to come will be appreciated....AUGURI!!!!!

GailO said...

Looks like I may have missed your birthday and I want to wish you a
Wonderful Year!

Marmite is something I haven't tried yet but am intrigued with too...What a wonderful friend to think of you when she saw that display...I do love Branston Pickle with cheese sandwiches...