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Mite August 9, 2009

Posted by tuimeltje in food, review, snack, travel.
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I’ve just come back from the annual UK trip with the band (though no Sinead this year, unfortunately). This year was the 250th anniversary of the battle of Minden (big parade, unfortunately without Brigadier Coutts), so some Dutch re-enactors of KOSB-ness were sharing the barracks with us. It’s always amusing to expose new people to something like pb&kale sammiches.

While doing my usual enthusiastic grocery shopping I came across something so British I would’ve bought it even if I loathed the stuff.
The things I came across? Marmite rice cakes and Marmite breadsticks.

Luckily I’m rather fond of the stuff so I didn’t just buy it for the novelty value. While it’s not, as far as I know, particularly popular in the Netherlands, I’ve always had access to it. Not sure if my parents liked it (though they might have. My mum used to eat that smelly green Swiss powdered cheese. People eating that might eat anything), but my grandma always had it (should’ve bought here a bag too, perhaps…). I doubt I much cared for it until I went vegetarian or even vegan, but now? Good stuff.
So the idea of rice cakes and breadsticks, two foods my mum gave me as snacks when I was a kid, with Marmite, a food which is, to me, both very British and very family? Made me quite happy indeed.

The rice cakes were most tasty. Properly Marmite-y but not so much Marmite that the taste is overwhelming. The breadsticks, however, I didn’t like quite as much. They weren’t bad, just not as Marmite-y as I would have liked. They were kind of bland, only slightly more flavourful than your basic plain breadsticks. Shame, really. If they still exist next time I have the opportunity to buy me some I’ll stick to the rice cakes.

Marmite!

– – –

The day after we came home, we had a barbeque.
I’m not very good at barbeques. It’s not a social event that played a big part of my upbringing or something I have particularly fond memories of, and after going vegan, spending an evening watching dead bits get cooked is not exactly my idea of a fun time.
However, this one would be attended by some people who’d been unable to come along on the trip, two of whom had gotten some very good news while we were away and I really needed to hug one of them, and it’s just a lot of fun spending some non-musical social time with these people. They’re a good bunch.
So I went.
I had intended on making some fancy stuff to show that vegans can have great barbeque food, but I was too tired and lazy to even look up something about vegan barbequeing, so I ended up simply stopping by the supermarked I passed on the way to pick up some basics that would feed me well enough.
Being: A courgette, a box of cherry tomatoes, a baguette, two portabello mushrooms, and a bag of mixed green veg.

Using the courgette, the tomatoes, the host’s garlic and the host’s cool home-made skewers, I made more vegetable skewers than I would be able to eat that evening (sharing time!). The mushrooms I just oiled and roasted.

Before roast:
Skewered

After roast, with additions.
Vegan BBQ - after

While fairly average food (portabellos could probably do with something more than just olive oil) and a lot of exposure to dead bits, I do like to count the barbeque evening as a success. I had a great time and my omni mates were positive about my food. They needed my urgings to eat some too more as an okay to eat “my” food rather than a bit of a push to eat the freaky, way too healthy stuff, which made me happy.
Of course, if they’d have framed courgette, tomato and garlic as something weird and freaky, only to be eaten on a dare or to cultivate their culinary edgy will-eat-anything image, I would have denied them the permission to ever eat Italian food again, so it was in their own best interest.

– – –

I’m still not entirely sure what Irn Bru reminds me of, but I’ve narrowed it down to something purple. Probably. Maybe brown.
Should match nicely with the orange, yeah.
Also? Walkers changed their crisps so now only the basic salty ones are vegan. Bastards. I don’t actually really like crisps, but I quite like having some Salt & Vinegar ones when in the UK just because they’re not available here and they have this sharp and rather acidic flavour which, while not wholly pleasing, is quite interesting.
The only portion-packaged S&V crisps not containing something obviously animal-derived were the McCoy ones, if I recall correctly, but they had a few things listed that I didn’t bother to try to pronounce even in my head, so I decided to just forgo crisps this year.
Luckily I found the Marmite stuff. Much better!

ETA: One thing that amused me terribly, for no other reason than the fact that it had a kangaroo on it and smuggling kangaroos into the UK makes me think of bouncy hijinks, is this DEFRA poster or what have you.

Rabies!

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