Marmite, love it or hate it, has its uses
It amuses me to think of Tim Dowling having respect for Marmite eaters, now that he’s plucked up strength to try it after 30 years (Escape your comfort zone: My voyage through the foods I’ve avidly avoided – from baked beans to Marmite, 25 December). He probably doesn’t realise that it was recommended food for babies and small children in Britain in the late 1940s, regarded as a good source of vitamin B. This remained the case even after I had my own children in the 1970s, until some experts expressed concern over the high salt content. So, Tim, many of us did not bravely choose Marmite, but were weaned on to it before we could speak.
Well now, Tim, you might feel more inclined to eat a smidgen of Marmite regularly if you knew that the vitamin B in it helps to repel mosquitoes. I have always loved the thinnest spread of Marmite on a finger of toast or cream cracker, and since having a little daily have not been bitten as much.
Despite Tim Dowling’s anxiety, we are indebted to Marmite. When, in March 2020, my husband and I suddenly felt unspeakably tired and wretched, all we ate for a whole week was toast and Marmite. It was the only food that these two early sufferers from Covid could manage. A brilliant pick-me-up.
Baked beans are best served on a slice of buttered toast spread with Marmite. The sweetness of the former is then cut through with the saltiness of the latter. A final touch for Guardian readers would be to sprinkle a few fennel seeds into the pan of baked beans.
West Hallam, Derbyshire