For decades if not generations, Marmite has been a familiar face and brand in South African households, we’ve always been able to grab it from the shelves at our local retail stores as and when you pleased, to layer our morning toasts. But over the past few years, this dark savoury paste has become so scarce all across the country to a point its lovers compare it to black gold.
The shortage began in 2020 amidst the pandemic, due to alcohol bans proving to be an obstacle to the supply of brewers’ yeast for suppliers of Marmite (Pioneer Foods).
With no end in sight as to when we’ll have this loved and missed product back on our retailers’ shelves, some have started sharing how you can make your own version of the dark spread.
The Daily Maverick’s Tony Jackman who is an author of cookbook called FoodSTUFF has shared some history behind the spread as well as a recipe from Sainsbury’s Magazine (UK) so you can make your own version of Marmite.
Here are the recipe requirements
- 1 large onion, chopped (include the outer skin if organic)
- 6 whole black peppercorns
- 2 large carrots, sliced (include carrot tops and skin if organic)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup daikon or radish (ideal but optional)
- 2 whole allspice or juniper berries
- 1 cup root vegetables (turnip, parsnip, not potato)
- 3-5 whole cloves of garlic
- 2 cups chopped greens: kale, parsley, beet greens, collards, chard, dandelion, coriander
- 5 cm fresh ginger, sliced
- ½ cup seaweed: nori, dulse, kelp, kombu (optional but highly recommended)
- Sea salt to taste
- 1 leek
- 4 litres cold water, more if needed
- ½ cup cabbage
- 2 celery stalks
- 1 cup fresh or dried shiitake mushrooms (optional)
Rinse all the vegetables well, including the seaweed. In a large stock pot, combine all the vegetables and spices except the salt. Fill the pot to 5 cm below the rim. Cover, and bring to the boil. Once it is boiling, remove the lid and decrease the heat to low. Simmer uncovered for at least 2 hours. As the broth simmers some of the water will evaporate, add more if some of the vegetables start to peek out. Simmer until the full richness of the vegetables can be tasted. Strain out the vegetables through a large coarse-mesh sieve (remember to put a heat resistant container underneath), then add the salt. Let cool to room temperature before refrigerating or freezing (up to 3 months).