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A ridiculously detailed review of the fancy new Vegemite Blend 17

Vegemite has released a new limited edition called “Blend 17”, which has already been dubbed as “for wankers” by the Australian media.

There are only 450,000 jars of Blend 17 out there with each 150-gram jar retailing for $6.99, which is about double the price of original Vegemite.

The new, premium version comes with a classy gold label and promises to have a bolder and smoother taste.

But does it? I decided to buy a jar and find out. What follows is a review of the new black stuff.

Methodology

Everyone knows there are really only two “mites” in this world – Marmite and Vegemite. A certain Techly writer, who prefers not to be named, actually eats Promite. Oh, the shame.

For the taste test, I prepared some Marmite, original Vegemite and the new Blend 17 on toast, with butter.

Bread: Helga’s
Butter: Mainland
Toaster level: 3.5/5

Have you seen the YouTube videos of Americans eating Vegemite straight from the jar? Of course, that won’t work! Butter and toast are both critical ingredients. The butter-to-‘mite ratio is crucial.

The test subjects were my wife and I. We have very different histories when it comes to the “mites” – she is from Taiwan and has tried Vegemite precisely three times, and I have basically eaten it all my life.

1. Packaging

My wife and I both agreed Blend 17 takes this round, because the packaging is just classy AF.

Winner: Blend 17
Losers: (tie) Vegemite and Marmite

2. Smell

Marmite made my wife recoil, screaming the word “stinks!” in Mandarin. She said Blend 17 smells better (sweeter), but I like the smell of OG Vegemite which has a more “beery” smell to me. I also think Marmite kinda stinks.

Winner: (tie) Vegemite and Blend 17
Loser: Marmite

3. Texture

Both Marmite and Blend 17 spread better than original Vegemite, which has a texture closer to wet cement. While spreading the Vegemite I suffered the dreaded “toast tear”. This didn’t happen with Marmite or Blend 17.

Winner (tie) Marmite and Blend 17
Loser: Vegemite

4. Taste

OK, this is for all the marbles. Blend 17 tastes slightly sweeter and a little richer and smoother than Vegemite. The aftertaste is also different, maybe a touch bitter? My wife said it has a high-class feel “like truffles”.

Full disclosure – I was a Marmite man till the early 2000s when I made the switch to Vegemite. Blend 17 was nice – and is very similar to the original flavour – but my vote has to go with Vegemite.

Winner: (tie) Vegemite and Blend 17
Loser: Marmite

Verdict

My wife said Blend 17 was the clear winner, while I rank it about equal with Vegemite. I wouldn’t say Blend 17 is bolder, but it is smoother. Blend 17 gets points for packaging and extra spreadability, but I’d stick with the original for taste. Marmite was a clear loser – were we too hard on it?

To be clear, this is not an iSnack 2.0-level disaster. While the new name is a little pretentious, no one seems to outright hate it. Is it worth the extra few bucks? Probably not, but it’s three dollars – which isn’t much in the large scheme of things.

You could buy a jar, keep it for a decade and then put it on eBay in 2027. Profit. You heard it here first.

Although other media outlets say it’s just for wankers, people are talking about Blend 17 and seem genuinely curious about trying it. Heck, The New York Times even covered it.

So no matter what you think about the taste, the PR team is doing cartwheels.

About the author

Stefan is an Adelaide-based freelance writer. In his spare time, he plays tennis badly, collects vinyl and brushes up on his Mandarin. Follow Stefan on Twitter

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