Ok, for Americans who have never tasted marmite, I'll try to describe a facsimile of its taste.
Let's say you made a roast beef, and after removing the roast you let all the drippings cook away to a dense crust on the pan. But before you let if reduce to it's most fundemental form, you oversalt it.
I've watched videos of Americans, especially teens tasting it, and in my opinion they were over reacting, all this fake retching for the camera and their friends. I also watched some Russian teens trying it, and I felt their reacation was more reasonable.
While it's true some of the Russian teens obviously did not like it, most of them tasted a bit, made a considering face, then kind of shrugged their shoulders saying "It's ok" or "No, I don't like it" or some saying "It's fine" This I took as in the U.S. it seems reactions have to be over the top, like everything in done for an audience.
While it's definately not for everyone, and it's true when you first taste it you'll decide within the next minute if you would ever try it again, it's not as if you were eating something rotten, moldy or poisonous.
It's just really, really savory.
I really can't tell what I'd like it on.
Ok, something else I thought of.
Maybe American palates, especially teens overeact to marmite because in todays culture, all many teens experience is what I consider pretty bland fare.
Not just things like chicken nuggets (more for little kids) but what I think of as "homogenized" foods. Fast foods like Taco Bell, pizza, burgers, skinless chicken breasts, horrible cardboard like tomatoes and processed cheese. I know there's a lot of foodies on A2K, but I've lived in a lot of places in the U.S. where experimentation is never thought of. Ya got yer slab of meat and a can of green beans and there ya go. Throw some salty stuff on the meat and call it barbeque.
So, when confronted with something really intense like marmite, naturally it's hard to know what to do with it.
I think maybe the Russian teens, as well as generally being more stoic, eat foods that are closer to the earth. I grew up in a polish american household, and while most of the food was american fare, and my mother not a good cook to boot, we did semi regulary eat stuff that involved innards of animals that many people today don't even know are edible.
When I got the marmite at WF's the cashier looked at it and commented. I replied "Yeah, apparently I'm going to either love it or hate it."
The guy behind me, not more than 19 or 20 said "Oh, marmite, I love it! I've eaten it all my life."
I looked at him and laughingly said "Don't tell me, your parents are British, or maybe Aussies" He said "My mom is, well actually she's from Scotland."
I asked "So, do you like haggis?" and he replied enthusiastically "Yeah, it's the best!"
If you told most teens in the U.S. what haggis was made of, their reactions would go viral.