Vegemite gets cream cheese makeover


Manufacturers meddle with iconic brands at their peril so no doubt Kraft has put a lot of thought into the new variation on vegemite which is a mixutre of the spread we know mixed with cream cheese.

If the publicity is to be believed  the result is:

. . . a smoother, more spreadable consistency.

 Simon Talbot, Kraft Australia’s head of corporate affairs, said the new product was given to 600 homes for testing and came back with overwhelmingly positive results.

‘It’s a milder version, more suited to dipping celery or carrots, easy to spread. It’s a different flavor profile but still distinctly Vegemite.’

Vegemite is one of the things which unites New Zealanders and Australians because few people not born in either of these countries learn to appreciate the taste.

Vegemite and cheese sandwiches are still a staple of many school lunches and even featured in Men at Work’s song Land Down Under.

I have managed to disguise vegemite on cheese toasties and feed them to visitors who said they enjoyed them. But naked vegemite is very much an acquired taste and even though I acquired  it many years ago I prefer it scaped on toast in small amounts rather than spread liberally.

One of the benefits of vegemite is that it has few calories, and tiny amounts of fat and sugar. Adding cream cheese changes that, but a nutritional diet needs some fat and sugar so the new spread wouldn’t by itself be ‘unhealthy’.

When it’s launched early next month it will carry a label saying name me.

The contest is open-ended as Kraft selects the best name for the Vegemite partner.

‘It’s in the hands of the Australian and New Zealand people,’ Mr Talbot said.

And the proof of the new product will be in their mouths.

The new, creamier spread that is due to be on store shelves by July 5. Consumers Down Under will be able to pick the name of the new Kraft treat

Tuesday’s answers


Monday’s questions were:

1. What did Simon & Garfunkel call themselves when they recorded their first top 50 hit, Hey Schoolgirl, in 1957?

2. Who said:  Too often the desire for peace has been expressed by women while the stewardship of the mechanisms which are used to attempt to secure peace in the short and medium term are dominated by male decision-making structures and informal arrangements. This must change.

3.  Who wrote Chance Is A Fine Thing?

4. Which city would you be in if you were standing in the Plaza de Mayo and looking at the Casa Rosada?

5. Which is New Zealand’s deepest lake?

Paul Tremewan gets an electronic bunch of flowers for a perfect score  – the second week in a row someone’s got the lot.

Swinestein gets a point for one right and a bonus for additional information.

Gravedodger gets two points for correct answers and a bonus for making me smile with the response to question 2.

Ed gets two correct and also gets a bonus for more information.

PDM – if you follow the link below you’ll find more about Lake Hauroko which is in Western Southland and it’s 463 metres deep.

Tuesday’s answers follow the break. Read the rest of this entry »

Tremain, Goodhew new National whips


Napier MP Chris Tremain has been promoted from junior to senior whip in the National caucus and Rangitata MP Jo Goodhew has been elected junior whip.

I don’t know Chris well but he obviously performed well as junior whip if his colleagues supported his nomination for the senior position.
Jo won Aoraki from Jim Sutton in 2005 and took the new seat of Rangitata with a good majority last year. She is a lovely person who works hard and performs well as the MP for a very large electorate where she is very popular.


More snowish than snowy


“What’s the weather doing?” my farmer asked as I pulled the curtains and peered out at the pre-dawn gloom.

“A few stars, some high cloud, lawn’s white, must be a hard frost,” I replied.

When he got up a few minutes later he told me to take a closer look, the white wasn’t frost, it was snow.

snowish hp 2

When it got a bit lighter we found it was more snowish than snowy.

As often happens, Dunedin got a dumping and the storm came up the coast to about Wainakarua then the worst of the weather went out to sea, leaving northern North Otago with a dusting of snow which stayed on the lawn and short-grazed paddocks but has already gone from the longer grass.

snowish hp

Bienvenido al Rey y La Reina de España


King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain will visit New Zealand next week.

They will be accompanied by Spain’s Foreign Minsiter Miguel Angel Moratinos and Secretary of State for Trade Silvia Iranzo.

“I am delighted to host King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia. Their visit presents a unique opportunity to enhance understanding and visibility of New Zealand at the highest levels in Spain,” says Mr Key.

“New Zealand’s relationship with Spain is on the cusp of an exciting phase of further development, with the prospect of increased trade, investment and tourism.

“Our two countries are also seeking to expand education, science and technology, and cultural links.

“In recent years, high-level bilateral political interaction has strengthened considerably,” says Mr Key.

When New Zealanders travel overseas we are accustomed to people in other countries having only a vague, if any, idea about New Zealand.

But in Spain when people asked where we were from, almost all reacted with a smile when they heard nueva zelanda and responded by saying, “el pais más lejos de españa,” – the country furtherest from Spain.

They also knew us because of los kiwis – kiwifruit. Spain is one of the biggest markets (maybe the biggest?) for our kiwifruit and we saw them everywhere fruit was sold from the biggest supermarkets to the smallest neighbourhood stores.

Farmers we spoke to had some knowledge of, and respect for, our sheep industry too.

Spain suffered from the years of oppression under Franco but it has been rapidly catching up. When we lived there four years ago, the EU was pouring billions of euros in to infrastructure and the country with a positive flow on effect on the economy.

New Zealand’s former dependence on British markets blinded us to opportunities in other parts of Europe in the past. This visit will  provide opportunities for trade and other relationships to our mutual benefit.

June 16 in history


On June 16:

1723 Adam Smith the Scottish philosopher and economist was baptised (his exact date of birth isn’t known)


1858 Abraham Lincoln gave his House Divided  speech:

A house divided against itself cannot stand.” I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided.

It will become all one thing or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new — North as well as South.

1915 The British Women’s Institute was founded.

1961 Rudolf Nureyev  defected in Paris.

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