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Ever wonder just how the most common of items here or back home came into existence? Take Marmite, the love-it-or-hate-it British sandwich spread. It’s made from brewer’s yeast that’s been used to ferment sugars intoalcohol, according to www.marmite.co.uk.

But while this yeast was invented way back in the 17th century, it took a few hundred more years before people thought to actually try and eat the stuff. In 1902, a Marmite factory was first built in Burton on Trent.

Marmite has no middle ground in England. Folks either slop it on sandwiches or in gravy or stews, or they don’t. It’s a salty, almost meaty, experience.

Vitamins are added to the paste as each batch is finished, and it’s played a prominent role in the U.K. during wartime, according to the Web site.

During World War I, it was included in soldiers’ rations and was a staple food in hospitals and schools. It was a dietary supplement in prisoner-of-war camps during World War II and was sent to British troops in Kosovo in 1999 as a morale booster.

It might not have boosted everyone’s morale. The Marmite Web page has separate spoof sites for those who love or hate the spread.

So what are you waiting for? Go buy yourself a little pot of the paste and figure out if you like or loathe this yeasty extract. It’s as British as spotted dick.

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