March 8th, 2011
01:35 PM ET

Obama not a Vegemite-terian

WASHINGTON (CNN) - If there's one area where President Obama and his Australian counterpart disagree, it is over the culinary merits of Vegemite.

Vege-what?  That was on the mind of one 11th grade history student when she asked Prime Minister Julia Gillard to explain the Australian, um, delicacy, during a visit with Obama to Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia on Monday.

As Gillard described the sandwich spread as a “by-product of making beer” and “yeast paste,” she must have realized how unappetizing that sounded to American kids who grew up on PB&J.

“I’m making this sound really good, aren’t I?” Gillard quipped and then added the spread has a black hue and is “quite salty,” cringe-inducing adjectives when combined with yeast paste.

President Obama didn’t hold back, telling the class “it’s horrible,” before the prime minister could make her case.  Once she did, he verbalized what some students in the room might have been thinking.

"So it's like a quasi-vegetable by-product paste that you smear on your toast for breakfast.” said Obama. “Sounds good, doesn't it?"

Gillard defended her country’s culinary quirks, like any loyal prime minister would do, and offered sage advice.

“The beginner's error with Vegemite is to put too much on a piece of bread or a piece of toast, you don't put it on like jam or anything like that,” said Gillard. “You got to do it very lightly, spread it very thinly, and it's good."

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soundoff (One Response)
  1. Tom (Southlake, TX)

    Add one Yank who absolutely loves Vegemite. In fact, I do apply vegemite to toast like jam. The more the better.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:26 pm |