I wake up every single morning with absolute dread. It’s hard not to when our society is falling apart. This makes it difficult for me to cook a proper breakfast. So, I was elated when I found Florence Pugh’s everyday toast recipe, which she debuted on her Instagram Live earlier in this pandemic. It’s quick and easy, which is perfect for me, a barely functioning 31-year-old!
The recipe is pretty straight-forward — it’s toast — and only demands a toaster and three ingredients: Bread, butter, and Marmite. If that last ingredient gives you pause, know that I felt the same way. But Florence Pugh is a person of culture. So therefore, people of culture must like Marmite. And I was determined to prove that I was one of these people!
If you’re not familiar with Marmite, it’s a yeast extract that is a British staple. It’s a really dark brown, and spreads like molasses. If you know the Australian-favorite Vegemite, they’re pretty similar. Both of these condiments are on the saltier and savory side, though Vegemite is a bit more bitter.
Marmite, like Vegemite, is a divisive condiment. It’s labeled as a yeast extract spread fortified with B vitamins. I’ve heard you either really like it, or you really hate it. I figured I could handle it. I’m literally Filipino, and we casually eat things like balut. What could this yeast extract possibly have on me?
First, I “sliced” my bread. I opted for sourdough toast, since that’s what Florence used in her cooking video. Her bread was an actual loaf that looked expensively rustic, but I honestly don’t have time for that and went with some pre-cut sourdough. I did cut each piece in half though!
Next, I plopped my sourdough slices in the toaster and “ever so delicately” pushed the sliding mechanism firmly down. The goal is to get your bread to a nice brown, so I recommend setting your toaster to a higher level than usual if you’re usually a ‘lightly toasted’ kind of gal. Or toast your bread twice, like I did.
Here’s the fun part: Like Florence, I helped myself to a glass of her take on a mimosa — an “inch of orange juice” topped off with champagne — while waiting for my toast to brown. She calls the drink a “Buck’s Fizz.” I’m going to call it the “Florence Fizz,” because I do what I want.
Here are my co-workers Derek and Janna toasting their Florence Fizzes I made them, totally unaware of the turmoil-toast we’re about to subject ourselves (and others in the office) to.
Don’t enjoy your Florence Fizzes too hard — you’re making toast remember?! As you can see, I managed to get my toa—sorry, browned bread, at a comparable level to Ms. Pugh’s.
Now that your sliced bread is brown and ready (like me), you’ll want to slather it with a generous amount of butter. Florence likes her toast dripping with butter. And as Florence says in her video, “There’s no point in having a good piece of toast unless you’ve got good butter with it.” That’s why I used a lightly salted European Style butter — it sounded so fancy.
Yum! Look at that perfectly buttered toast. Maybe if this writer thing doesn’t work out, I can become a chef…right? Right?!
And finally, it’s time to put a “smidge” of Marmite on the toast. Florence spread a small amount in a spider-web pattern to spread it evenly over the bread, including the sides. I tried my best, and at least got the Marmite on there.
And that’s literally it! You’re done.
Here’s a side by side comparison of our final products:
Now it was time to try Florence’s “browned bread” toast recipe. I was excited! I really look up to her as an actor, so it was sweet to get a (literal) taste of her morning routine.
Unfortunately, Florence’s go-to toast was just…not for me. The Marmite sucker-punched my taste buds with saltiness. I’m sure y’all have had soy sauce at some point in your life. Have you ever had it on toast? Do you even want that? Neither did I.
I even tried it a second time, because sometimes certain tastes grow on you. But the only thing that grew was my contempt for this condiment. Marmite, I’m sorry darling, but you need to sashay away.
But look, I’m just one boy, standing in front of a single piece of Marmite-butter toast, asking it to taste better. So, I figured I’d prepare some of Florence’s toast for more folks around the office and get their opinions on it, too. First, I had my co-workers Derek and Janna try it…and they also were not down with the Marmite-butter toast. Woooomp.
However, our office MVP Troy tried it as well. And he actually liked it! He agreed that it was a little salty, but it paired nicely with the buttered toast. I did confirm that Troy is not British.
I also gave it to one of the higher-ups Rich. He’s literally British! And he loved it…of course he would. He said that he grew up eating this throughout his childhood, then kindly informed me that people usually spread the Marmite all over the toast rather than just the center. Look, I tried.
In total, I had nine people in the office try it, myself included, and write their thoughts on sticky notes — pink meant “It’s a no from me” while yellow meant “I’m not mad at it.” As you can see, the majority of people were indeed mad about it. Six out of nine of us were not feeling Florence Marmite-butter toast recipe. Yet, three out of nine folks (or one-third) were fans of Florence’s “perfect” browned bread. I guess it’s true what they say about Marmite on toast: You either really love it or you really (really) don’t.
Personally for me, I would never try Florence’s toast again. I’ve put many things in my mouth over the years, and Marmite is never going in there ever again. Life is too darn short to eat the things that don’t bring us pleasure. Can I get an amen?!
What are your thoughts on the recipe? If you tried it, did you like it or hate it? Do you also feel like Marmite is a British weapon of mass destruction? Let me know in the comments!