Wednesday, October 27, 2021

A Housing Oddity

This is how I would like it to be.

I noticed a few houses in Kerferd Road, Albert Park somewhat different to the rest of the housing in the street. Most of the housing is probably late 19th century.

But here are some more modern houses and apartments, apartments being unheard of here in the late 19th century. Why is this so? Something was there beforehand. A large building occupying several several house blocks? 


While investigating and having a proper look at the houses, I came across this plaque that tells the story. Briefly the plaque says that the factory when the nectar of the gods known as Vegemite was located here in Kerferd Road, the factory once occupying where the newer housing was built.


Actually, this happened in reverse. The plaque is mounted on a decent sized rock. I wonder why there was a large rock in the middle of a grassed area and I investigated and then I began looking at the housing. 

It is rare that anyone likes Vegemite who did not grow up eating it as I do and did. Former radio broadcaster Red Symons described it as 'salty, yeasty, black breakfast spread made from beer slops'. Yes, it was or still is made from the left overs from the beer making process. It is most commonly used as a light smearing over toasted and buttered bread but can to be added to many things. Soups and stews/casseroles come to mind. It has a rich, bitter and salty taste. Maybe if you like salty Dutch liquorice, you will like it.

Vegemite fell into foreign ownership some years ago but is once again Australian owned. 


NB, No one spreads Vegemite as thickly on toast as the girl in the clip did.

37 comments:

  1. Perhaps because both of my parents were migrants I didn't grow up with vegemite. I don't spread it on toast but do use it in cooking.
    The newer homes blend in quite well don't they?

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    1. EC, I might suggest more is better in cooked food.
      Yes, the newer housing blends in very well. I am annoyed with myself that I had never noticed them been newer.

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  2. Anonymous5:53 am

    Being English born I had Marmite, not Vegemite (the Aussie favourite) and they are similar but different. Both are an addiction acquired when VERY young. Haven't eaten Marmite for years and don't miss it. Roderick

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    1. Roderick, different to the point I can't stand Marmite. Vegemite is an addiction I acquired when very young.

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  3. I grew up with marmite but it is too sweet for me now. After nigh on 50 years in Australia I am a vegemite kid. I remember taking one of my sons to a cafe and all he wanted was a vegemite sandwich. The young French lass behind the counter was bemused as she looked at the jar. She spread the bread with soooooo much vegemite. Obviously she had no idea what it was.

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    1. Good to hear Caro. Yes, overseas people tend to spread it like jam or peanut butter.

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  4. One taste of Marmite was more than enough.

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    1. Cynthia, Marmite is inferior. You must try Vegemite.

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  5. I had a thick slice of challah toast, butter, Vegemite and yellow cheese for breakfast, all the way through kindergarten and primary school.

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    1. Hels, not a bowl of nutritious corn flakes then?

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  6. I don't recall Vegamite. But Kraft is well known company.
    Coffee is on and stay safe

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    1. Dora, that's interesting. I thought it was an Australian company that was for a time owned by a US company.

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  7. I still love vegemite and should probably eat more of it, but since being returned to Australian ownership it is NOT quite the same as the original.
    I notice the girl in the clip taking very tiny nibbles so she didn't get too much at once. Far too thickly spread that was.

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    1. River, I seem to recall it is a good source of a couple of vitamins. There is some kind of caterer's blend of Vegemite that I am not keen on, and the Vegemite in a tube tastes different too.

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    2. Perhaps it is the caterers blend I am remembering, Mum used to buy it in big yellow 7 pound tins, same as jam, huge tins doled out into smaller jars for table use. Vegemite is rich in Vitamin B1, B2, B3 and folate.

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  8. Oh my goodness that is spread on far to thick for me too and I don't know of anyone that does that.
    Like the first house and interesting about the plaque and the factory being there once..
    Love my Vegemite - used to have Marmite till the earthquake in NZ, had to change to Vegemite, tried Marmite again when back on the market but no, Vegemite won.

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    1. That's interesting about your conversion Margaret. I think that is rare.

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    2. Probably rare Andrew, but I'm rare :)

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  9. I'm not surprised that they pulled-down the Vegemite factory; after WW2 such explosive matter was no longer in demand.

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    1. Cro, au contraire. It had beneficial gut effects.

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  10. I didn’t like Marmite at all - came to Aus and fell for Vegemite after the first taste. I even take it o/s when we travel - it comes in a very useful tube, non breakable easy to pack. Plastic unfortunately but needs must so that’s how it travels 😊

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    1. Cathy, I have carried a tube of Vegemite to various countries around the world. Some overseas hotels have it, but not all. Some ships have it one day and then not the next.

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  11. Vegemite is available here but only in tiny jars and very expensive. I've thought of trying it because I love the yeasty taste of beer, but the price has held me back :) At least now I'll know (if I do give in to temptation) not to spread it too thickly.

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    1. Jenny, could I send you you traveller tube of Vegemite and see what you think? If you feel the need, you could repay me with a tube of special maple syrup.

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    2. Hah! You'd pay more in postage than you're possibly prepared for! I don't think I've ever seen our maple syrup in anything except glass or ceramic bottles. Heavy and breakable, not a good combination. Does Australia have any maple syrup producers? I shall have to break down and try some imported vegemite, I think.

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    3. Jenny, I would naturally look for Canadian maple syrup but apparently we do produce our own, https://australianorganicproducts.com.au/products/coombs-family-farms-organic-maple-syrup-grade-a-236ml

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    4. I really didn't think you would have any producers but look at that - and the bottles are the same as what we have here. The price is about the same, considering our dollars are about the same. I wonder if there's any difference in taste from one part of the world to another. Did you have any when you visited Canada?

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    5. Yes we did have it in Canada. It tasted the same to me. Most of ours is imported from Canada. We usually buy a brand called Queens but we don't use much, usually just for pancakes.

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    6. Queens has the best taste. There is another Canadian one on the shelves here, same bottle, not so nice tasting and thinner. Anything labeled "maple flavoured" is a no-no, that's just sugar syrup.

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  12. Hmm. Not sure I want to try vegemite:)
    You should write a book on historical homes.

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    1. Sandra, many have written books far better than I ever could, but thanks.

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  13. We had Marmite in South Africa which I didn't like and I don't eat Vegemite either. AS you say you have to grow up eating it. My 2 grandkids eat it funnily enough, but they were born here and I think they got the taste for it in day care :)

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    1. Sami, of course your grands eat it. They were born here.

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  14. The closest we came in Ireland was Bovril on bread and butter. But I did try Vegemite courtesy of an OZ friend. I could handle it OK :)

    XO
    WWW

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    1. WWW, it has been years but I didn't mind the taste of a Bovril drink.

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  15. Never tried it, should I

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    1. TP, you should and join the legions of haters.

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