Of course everyone in the world, except those involved in the industry itself, hates ad people. It's common knowledge, with their trendy clothes, tattoos and continual talk about their industry it's understandable. But occasionally, just occasionally, one of them comes up with a flash of brilliance, a stroke of genius, a blast of cor blimeyness.
The Marmite campaign launched here in the UK about fifteen years ago is one such example. I'm not sure if this has been a worldwide campaign and therefore don't know if you, assuming you're reading this from the Serendipitous land, are aware of it.
But over here it's been a resounding success. Supposedly based on the fact that the makers of Marmite discovered that people either love or hate their product, something I must admit to being dubious about, they decided to accept the fact and push it as a unique selling point. Nowadays people here often talk about whether they love or hate Marmite, there's rarely a chap who says "hmmm...I'm ambivalent actually, I quite like it but don't love or hate it". And who uses the word "ambivalent" in real life anyhow?
Moi? You can probably guess, I'm ambivalent about the black, debatably dark brown stuff. I like it, it's just that the love isn't there. There's usually a jar of it lurking in the depths of my cupboard but life doesn't suffer too much for me if and when I run out.
But how does one make Marmite on toast? It sounds simple enough but there are many methods, some which are illegal in certain countries, some which should be illegal. Here's how I do it:
Take 2 slices of white bread. Allow two slices for oneself, if there is a woman present who says that she doesn't want any ignore this and make separate portion for her. Otherwise she'll eat one whole slice of yours and this will cause problems.
Put bread in toaster, set on a medium to high setting. You don't want to burn it but the toast needs to be well done.
While bread is toasting take good quality butter out of fridge and engage in butter softening process. Butter is one of the vital ingredients and is needed in order to lubricate the Marmite and to help it spread evenly over the toast. No butter can make the Marmite scrape and tear the toast, an amateur's mistake.
I have heard of people who use brown or wholemeal bread for the toast and then a low fat spread or possibly even no spread with the Marmite. These sort of people should be avoided at all costs.
Now proceed with the butter softening. I like to cut criss cross lines in the top of the butter while it's in the dish. You can then scrape the top of the butter to hide the lines and avoid getting shouted at by your Mum / wife / girlfriend or imaginary friend in my case, but the sheer satisfaction of carving lines in butter is a little bonus fully worth grabbing. The knife always goes through the butter really easily, particularly if it's hot. I wish I could think of a simile here to describe it better.
By now the toast should be about ready. As soon as it's out it needs to be buttered. I find it useful to place a dollop of butter on the first slice and leave it to melt slightly while you place another dollop on the second slice, then go back and spread the first slice, moving onto the second one immediately afterwards. I'll leave it to you to decide which slice is the first and which is the second but, if it helps, I usually make the left hand one number one and the right hand one number two (as I look at them).
Time is of the essence here, you need to move on to the Marmite as quickly as possible. Once the slices are buttered get the right amount of Marmite on a (fresh) knife for one slice of toast. Experiment and practice beforehand so you get the right amount for the whole slice in one portion. Trips back to the Marmite jar to get more make the toast go patchy and you risk getting butter in the jar, something to be avoided, hence the need for a fresh knife.
Be careful, rookies often make the mistake of putting too much Marmite on the toast and deciding that it will be okay. It never is, it will taste too salty and you'll regret the move. If you're going to make a mistake with the quantity, well don't.
Move quickly on to the second slice. Experts will use a second knife for this (third if you include the butter knife) to maintain the purity of the jar. Ideally you want to do the whole buttering and spreading procedure within about twenty, perhaps twenty five seconds. This sort of time frame ensures the toast is still hot and you get those nice little pools of Marmite and butter on the surface.
Make sure that the spread of the Marmite goes all the way to the edges of both slices of toast, but not over the edges so you can't hold it properly without getting sticky fingers.
Some people like to cut the slices in half, you may make a choice here.
Now eat and enjoy. If you've got the quantity of Marmite just right you'll feel pretty damn thirsty until lunchtime.