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I’m a Happy Little “Misomite”!!

June 28, 2013

We all enjoy our Misomite For breakfast, lunch, and tea.

We all enjoy our Misomite For breakfast, lunch, and tea.

Now that I have been eating (far too much of) my Fantabulous Gluten Free white bread, I am transported back to a childhood taste memory, that had long been forgotten.

In my previous life, I was a keen baker of bread. I actually think that I did a pretty good whole grain loaf – especially after the arrival of my Thermomix – and shunned white bread as flavourless, gut sticking, nutritiously void goo*. But prior to that, as a kid, there was nothing better than a white crusty loaf, warm from the local bakery oven.

Those were the days when the bakery was the first shop to open at an ungodly hour of 7.30am on a Saturday morning and then close at 12 noon. Those were the days when the smell wafting from the bakery would linger down the street and entice crowds of people to queue at the flapping plastic strip door. The same days when the bakery would actually sell out of bread if you didn’t get there early enough!

When I had a sleepover at my friend Sue’s house, we would walk to the local bakery and buy a white plait loaf and tear “knobs” off it to eat on the way home. It always horrified me that we were allowed to do this, a) to eat it without slicing it with a knife, and b) that often by the time we got back, there was very little of it left – and we weren’t chastised for the crime!!

Now I know, that slicing warm-out-of-the-oven bread is a no-no. The ONLY way to eat bread out of the oven is to tear it. And the best thing to do is dress it with lashings of pure butter and a scrape of Vegemite. What decadence! And the best thing for white toast is the same; pure butter and Vegemite. You can leave the homemade marmalade for a grainy wholemeal toast. White toast & Vegemite are a match made in heaven…….but……

Vegemite is really not very good for you. It has a very colourful history and was often touted as a health food because of its rich source of B vitamins. This is true. But it also has an enormous sodium content and glutamic acid. Glutamic acid is not MSG. The relationship between the two is complex and long-winded and I am not going to go into that now. What is interesting is the growing allergy response to glutamines and gluten, both which are present in Vegemite.  As a kid, a gluten intolerance would have been rare. A glutamine intolerance, unheard of!

Poor Vegemite has had a hard time. First of all there is the “acquired-taste” syndrome that offends so many people from other countries. They have such an unfair advantage because when they are given Vegemite to try for the first time, they are usually given a spoonful of the strong-tasting stuff. Is that the way you would introduce gorgonzola to a novice? Then there are plenty of anti – Vegemite naysayers,  just see here and here. Don’t get me wrong, Vegemite is still full of nasties, like yeast extract, artificial flavours & colours.

So, I got to thinking…… what would make a good substitute? I’m not about to start brewing beer so I can use the spent brewer’s yeast to make yeast extract. The resultant slurry is sieved to get rid of hop resins, and treated to create a clear light brown liquid. This is then concentrated under a vacuum to a thick paste and is seasoned with salt, and celery and onion extracts to increase the palatability.  And curiously, the natural B vitamins, which were killed off in the process are added back again in synthetic form!!

This post has turned out much longer than I intended! Oh dear…. back to “misomite”.

My experimentation with Vegemite needed to fulfil the following requirements:

  1. It needed “umami” to replicate the glutamates
  2. It needed salt
  3. It needed a “yeastiness”
  4. It needed colour.
  5. It needed to go well on white toast!

So I got 4 out of 5.  My “misomite” is based on miso, a fermented soy product, fundamental to Japanese cuisine. On its own, it could almost pass as a Vegemite imposter, for its strong, salty, pungent & yeasty flavour. But I thought I could work on it a bit more. My version is far more nutritious with the addition of sesame (good fat) and fibre (soy). This version is very thick, like Vegemite but feel free to water it down if you wish. I used red miso for a darker colour – I didn’t get the colour part right, but I didn’t have any E150c on hand.

20g nutritional yeast flakes
80g red miso (white is fine but just won’t be as dark)
40g tahini paste
1/2 clove garlic
2 teas tamari (for the colour)
pinch of ground celery seeds (celery powder)
pinch of onion powder
2 tabs almond or olive oil
2 tabs warm water
 
Add all of the ingredients to the TM and mix on SP 8 for 40 seconds. Scrape down and repeat. It will thicken on standing. Store in a sealed container in the fridge for 4 weeks, or 2 weeks in your pantry.
Our mummies say we're growing stronger Every single week, Because we love our Misomite We all adore our Misomite It puts a rose in every cheek.

Our mummies say we’re growing stronger, Every single week,
Because we love our Misomite, We all adore our Misomite
It puts a rose in every cheek.

The only bad thing about this recipe is that it means that I will have to make many more loaves of my gluten-free bread to use it all up!!

My brother and I grew up on Vegemite!

My brother and I grew up on Vegemite!

*My Fantabulous Gluten free bread is also void of much fibre, being based on white starches so I’m ashamed to equate the two!

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Mel permalink
    October 24, 2016 8:30 pm

    I know this is an old post, but you could try Black Tahini for colour 🙂

  2. June 29, 2013 1:07 pm

    Thanks Jos!!

  3. June 28, 2013 9:49 pm

    Interesting read and what fun experimenting making your own misomite. quite often use genmai/mugi miso on toast in place of vegemite for that salty morning hit! My son is salicylate/amine sensitive and I’ve been trying to mentally prepare him for life without vegemite…miso doesn’t cut it for him and I don’t know if I could live without it! I adore miso gravy over roast vegies too. If you ever make it to Melb you must visit Shokuiku in High St. Thornbury. On her blog she talks about her experiment of making her own miso (soy and chickpea) which she serves in her cafe. Check it out, here’s her link. http://www.shokuikuaustralia.com

    • June 29, 2013 1:14 pm

      Ah ha! I go there each time I shop at Terra Madre, so I know it well!! Yes, that’s right, I regularly travel from Brisbane to Northcote to get my supplies!!!! Crazy, I know!

  4. June 28, 2013 7:51 pm

    Genius! ~ Justine

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