A yeasty, dark brown spread called Marmite — beloved by the British, who eat it on toast, and absolutely repellent to those who haven’t acquired the taste — may be banned in Denmark.
But it won’t be because the Danish think that Marmite, which is made from yeast extract and has a salty flavor, tastes rotten.
Authorities in Denmark say that it will be banned if it fails to meet food safety requirements. Under Danish law, food fortified by vitamins and minerals must have official approval before sale. This has led to the malt drink Ovaltine and some breakfast cereals being banned.
The Danish Food and Veterinary Administration says that food with additives need to be assessed for any security concerns posed to the population, the BBC reports. The final decision on Marmite — as well as the Australian equivalent, called Vegemite — could take up to six months.
Marmite is fortified with vitamins including B12, niacin, thiamine, riboflavin and folic acid.
Marmite fans, most of whom are from the UK as well as Commonwealth countries such as Australia and South Africa, tend to eat it on toast, the same way that Americans would eat peanut butter. They also like to spread it on crackers, in sandwiches, or added to a mug of hot water to make a drink.
Marmite’s makers admit that their gloopy product is not loved by all. Before entering the official website, viewers are presented with a choice to click on: love it or hate it?
Those who hate Marmite are then told: “Eat Marmite? You'd rather rip the wings off live chickens. You'd rather be stripped naked in public. You'd rather swallow rat's tails and snail shells... Enough already! We get the picture.”
British expatriates in Denmark are furious to hear of the possible restrictions on the sale of Marmite, and have threatened a campaign of civil disobedience, the BBC reports.
Other Marmite fans have suggested retaliatory bans on Danish exports such as Carlsberg beer and Hans Christian Andersen stories.
Various Facebook groups have already cropped up, including “SAVE MARMITE IN DENMARK, BOYCOTT DANISH BACON AND LEGO NOW!!” and “Eating marmite in Denmark because you're a fearless bastard.”