Aurora Expeditions, the travel company that organized and managed this voyage is Australian, so most of the passengers and many of the things on the ship were Australian. One famous (or possibly infamous) Australian food that made the voyage with us was Vegemite, which is yeast extract produced as a by-product of beer manufacturing. Vegemite is most commonly used as a spread on toast or crackers.
I’ve tried quite a few strange foods in other countries so I thought I should give the Vegemite a try. I scooped out a decent sized glob of the thing dark brown Vegemite and was getting ready to spread it on my toast when all the Australians at my table all started warning me that it was way too much and that all I needed was the thinnest of coating of Vegemite. I heeded the warning and gave my toast just the barest of coatings. The Vegemite had a strong, funky smell when you get close to it, so I was a bit nervous about taking a bite out of my toast. The first couple bites were not too bad, but then again, I could barely taste that Vegemite. The paper thin coating just wasn’t going to do if I wanted the full Vegemite experience. So I spread a bit more Vegemite on my toast. Now I could really taste it. It has a strange, salty, unpleasant taste that wasn’t doing anything for me. It wasn’t spit it out of my mouth horrible, and I finished my slice of toast, but it also wasn’t something I really enjoyed. Maybe as some point, I will give it a second chance.
In the evening there was a final recap and drinks in the bar where people told stories of some of the things that had impressed them on the voyage. Gag awards were also given out by the Aurora Expeditions staff and the Captain. I received the “Alien Antennae Award: Best Reception”. People who’ve been skiing or in cold weather with me will know why I received it, everyone else will just have to wonder.