I found a new web site today, devoted to something called Thinging. No, that’s not singing with a lisp, but something else entirely. A bloke named SimonG has put together what he calls the “Favourite Things Experiment.” At his site, you can either post one of your favorite things (a food, an activity, a book, anything) and challenge others to try it, or you can try someone else’s favorite thing and report on it. It sounds a bit thin, but it’s quite a hoot!

One of the suggestions was something called “Marmite.” and I’d heard of it but never tried it. Opinions vary widely. If you’re English and were brought up on the stuff, you love it, otherwise you probably hate it. Of course, I had to try it.

Marmite turns out to be an extract made from spent yeast, a byproduct of breweries. It’s dark, almost black, and has the consistency of thick petroleum grease. It has a strong, pungent aroma. I knew that if I were going to try this stuff, I’d better do my homework, so I visited the “Marmite FAQ.” Their best suggestion was a thin (VERY thin) coating of Marmite on dry white toast, covered by a slice of cheddar cheese. I did that to the letter, although I must admit that due to the lack of a toaster in the office, I substituted white Melba Toast for the real thing.

The verdict: DELICIOUS! I used a mild cheddar, and the strong, salty flavor made the cheese seem extra sharp! A little of this stuff goes a long, long way, but what a taste! The aftertaste is pretty potent too; I could still taste the stuff in my mouth a good hour later.

My two submissions were buttermilk with pretzels, a favorite snack of mine, and mozzarella cheese melted in the microwave, something my wife introduced me to back when things were better. So far, none of these English folks have dared to try either of them! Pooh.

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