Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Hate & Love

Love to hate you, #Marmite

Since the first time I took a bite of it on a buttered toast that Gill had made for me, I knew it was the foulest thing I ever tasted. I didn't feel like that again for a very long time afterwards: only when I tasted chou doufu in Shaoxing (word capital of stinky tofu), I remembered how I felt when I ate my first bite of Marmite.

Gill looked at me and asked "So how is it?", a big smile plastered on her face. Something in her eyes told me this was not the first time she was playing this trick on one of her foreign students. And she wasn't probably going to stop with me. True enough, less than 5 minutes later, Sandra, the Swiss girl, made her appearance in the kitchen and... "Sandra, how about some breakfast?"
If Sandra had taken a better look at my face and at the fact I was drinking water like a camel that crossed the Sahara, she should have answered in a whole different way.

They say Marmite is like that. You either love it or hate it. It's a comforting notion, if you think about it.
In a world where black and white blur into grey, what is right and what is wrong overlap and everything "just depends", Marmite offers a relief, a safe haven: it's a yes or no, on off state. Marmite appreciation is in binary code, 1 or 0.

It's something I never doubted about in the past few years. Marmite is bad, I don't like Marmite.
I even introduced some friend to the wonders of Marmite. The look on SViN's face when I gave him the Marmite cookbook was one of a kind. Or the replies I received when I shipped some Marmite to some friends in Italy.

Then something changed. I think it was because of the cashew nuts. Cashew nuts are a soft point of mine, I just love them no matter what, even when they're Marmite-flavored. Apparently, my love for cashew nuts is stronger than my dislike for Marmite.
Not a big deal, I thought. But then it was the turn of the rice crackers and the chips. Then, thanks to Flavia and Sevan, I discovered the Marmite flatbreads and cereal bars. My heart broke a little when I couldn't find the cereal bar any longer.

Then, last time I was at Beth's place, we had Marmite cheese: it was quite lovely and it made me realize, perhaps with the help of one or two glass of Mavrodaphne, that Marmite probably for me is not so binary, maybe more of a ying-yang state of thing. It's a thin line the one dividing love and hate and, being the line coated in Marmite, it's quite easy to slip over it.
So yes, I still hate Marmite, but I love other Marmite-flavored food.
I still have some hope to find the cereal bars. I can't understand why they're not on sale anymore: I mean,  Marmite people, come on! What's the point of having people hooked on a new product, just to stop selling it shortly after!?!? You do want to be hated!

1 comment:

  1. Bella! Wait until you get your Christmas present ... x