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Pretty much every culture has at least one food or drink that, unless you grew up eating it, you probably don’t like. For example, the first time most foreigners try natto, Japan’s infamous fermented soy beans, the pure disgust may also make it the last time they ever try it. In the opposite direction, America’s root beer doesn’t have the best track record in Japan either.

YouTuber Chris Broad, from Abroadin Japan, has brought another such food to Japan: a traditional condiment from his homeland of the UK that is not even loved by all Brits: Marmite. As he puts it, “people tend to either love it or hate it.” With this in mind, Broad set up a camera so we could watch the reaction of Japanese people trying the polarizing food for the first time.

▼ If you’ve never had Marmite, it may be hard to fully grasp this video. If you have had it, you’ll probably really enjoy this video!

As Broad explains at the beginning of the video, Marmite is a traditional British food, although it’s more of a condiment. The chocolatey-looking goo is as far from chocolate as you can possibly get, being made from yeast extract, the byproduct of brewing beer. Instead of sweet, it’s salty. Very salty.

▼ Yum, brown goop!

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Broad, himself, admits that the smell is “the definition of awful,” but when spread on toast or bread, it becomes “bearable to the point of being pleasant.”

Seeing the saltiness of Marmite as having something in common with the saltiness of Japanese soy sauce, Broad hypothesized that maybe, just maybe, the Japanese people he served it to would enjoy it.

▼ Boy, was he wrong.

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▼ “Unanimous abject horror”

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Despite being totally repulsed, all of the people involved ate their Marmite-on-bread down to the last crumb, with lots of water.

Some of the more amusing responses include:

“My face is broken.”
“This can’t be real.”
“Bread + Marmite = Yum…. NOT yum.”

Upon asking the group their opinion of Marmite on a scale from 1-10, the highest response Broad got was a whopping three. Ouch. Apparently, Marmite is nothing like soy sauce.

▼ It looked like torture!

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In defense of the Japanese people in the video, not even all British people like Marmite, and give it to a bunch of Americans and you’ll probably get a similar response. On the other hand, that is not to say that no Japanese could ever like it.

In a similarly amusing event, I once witnessed multiple classes of junior high school students taste Vegemite, a similar yeast-extract condiment popular in Australia and New Zealand. At least one kid in every class of 40 liked it enough to eat a second piece, though most everyone else made mad dashes to the sinks and there were a few near-vomiting incidents. But hey, one in 40 is not bad, right?

Have you ever had Marmite or Vegemite? Have you ever convinced a foreign friend, Japanese or not, to give it taste? Let us know in the comment section below!

Source: YouTube (Abroadin Japan) via The Telegraph
Images: Screenshots from YouTube (Abroadin Japan)