September 27th, 2011
09:31 AM ET

Vegemite nearly causes international incident

By Fareed Zakaria, CNN

We all like our comforts of home, even world leaders. Colonel Gadhafi always traveled with his tents. Queen Victoria reportedly traveled with her own bed. President Bush had his own pillow. But such needs almost caused a diplomatic incident this week. Australia's foreign minister, Kevin Rudd, wanted to bring his beloved breakfast treat to New York with him this week.

But according to Mr. Rudd's Twitter feed, the airport authorities in New York tried to confiscate it. The culprit - vegemite, yes the spread that most Aussies love and the world hates. Mr. Rudd, you should know where to find vegemite for sale in New York, just a few miles from the Australian mission. So maybe next time, save yourself the hassle, and buy it here. Though why would you want to?

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soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. j. von hettlingen

    Rudd could get through the U.S. customs with his jar of vegemite, because he's Australia's foreign minister. Somebody else would have to eat this disgustingly looking brown paste in front ot the servicemen, to show the substance is harmless.

    September 27, 2011 at 10:21 am | Reply
  2. Peter Monaghan

    Mr Zakaria: As a CNN foreign correspondent, I'd have thought you'd know better than to restrictively characterize Vegemite as a "breakfast treat." It is a delicious and polyvalent comestible, perfect for a snack at any time (always with butter), not only on toast and raisin toast, but also on raisin muffins or even bagels, as well as Weet(a)bix with cold butter. As for your throwaway "But why would you want to," that's just the kind of ignorance that the culturally myopic have always displayed towards the cuisine of others.

    September 27, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Reply
    • Nestor Beltre

      I believe the throwaway "But why would you want to" was an attempt at humor, not a serious comment that should be put under such scrutiny. After all, the situation is fairly humorous and is not as serious as the typical Zakaria report.

      September 27, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Reply
      • lespinal

        Unfortunately, humor escapes the grasp of some :/

        September 27, 2011 at 10:51 pm |
  3. Rahmat

    I thought leaders have dipl- immunity

    September 27, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Reply
  4. dk

    Ah Vegemite!
    An old australian lady was to come visit Nigeria in 2003... she asked me: Do you know any Australians in Port HArcourt? IF you do, ask 'em if they want Vegemite! Vegewhat?? SO i went to the chief pilot of the oil company I worked for, married to a very beautiful Calabar lady: "Hey you want some Vegemite? I could ask someone coming to bring a few jars for ya!"
    "O thanks Mate! I got a whole lot in my pantry!! Want some?" By then I'd been told It was stinky..... "N-o-o-o-o" I yelled and we both laughed....
    '-)

    September 27, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Reply
  5. libra

    I LOVE VEGEMITE – beats the **** out of English Marmite .......

    September 27, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Reply
  6. Tricia

    I'm not familiar with Vegeminte. and from the description of it I don't think I'll take a chance with it!

    September 27, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Reply
  7. Jim D

    Forget Vegemite, it's Scrapple all the way for me.

    September 27, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Reply
  8. fernace

    If this vegemite is as popular in Australia as a tube of Kalles Kaviar is in Sweden, then I understand the need to tote it on trips! Kalles is a tubed caviar spread for bread that Swedes from age 1-101 love to eat, but doesn't necessarily translate to these shores! Got some on my last trip to IKEA in Houston, & it was like coming home! I think that's what vegemite is for Aussies! I feel ya, Mr. Foreign Minister!!

    September 28, 2011 at 3:04 am | Reply
  9. markjuliansmith

    You need lots of butter with it on toast. Not something you have straight unless you want to be crosseyed for the rest of the day.

    September 28, 2011 at 8:36 am | Reply
  10. Jorge

    As an American living in Australia, I eat vegemite almost every morning. It is very, very rare to have at any other time of day other than breakfast, and yea, you can only put a little on a piece of toast with butter, its very strong flavored. It is good though.

    October 24, 2011 at 10:40 am | Reply

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