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Thanks to a price row between big-ass multinational corporation Unilever and U.K. supermarket chain Tesco, the yeasty British delicacy Marmite disappeared from shelves earlier this week. This was a genuine crisis for some, and a jokey crisis for many more.
And it had a jokey nickname: “Marmexit.”
The Marmite crisis was reportedly a result of Brexit and the weakened British pound, causing Unilever to demand price increases on the popular spread. Rather than focusing on the cause of the disaster, though, Brits were cracking dry jokes.
52% of people hate Marmite. We should respect the will of the British people and not have access to Marmite
— Bobby Friedman (@BobbyFriedman) October 13, 2016
I’m like Marmite in that I was only available in Waitrose today and everyone in my family hates me.
— Joe Lycett (@joelycett) October 13, 2016
To replicate the taste of Marmite simply lick the sole of the shoes of a marathon runner who took a particularly long time.
— Daniel Hardcastle (@DanNerdCubed) October 13, 2016
Make You Own Marmite
you will need the following
one kilo of human hair
— David Wyllie (@journodave) October 13, 2016
A while ago it was Keep Calm and Carry On. This week the country is overrun by killer clowns and we’re about to go to war over marmite.
— Laurie Penny (@PennyRed) October 13, 2016
They laughed when I changed all my GBP into Marmite. They’re not laughing now
— Anarcho-Scarite (@blueliberal1) October 12, 2016
i’ve had a think and i would eat an entire jar of marmite on camera in return for hard cash
— Ed Jefferson (@edjeff) October 12, 2016
The panic, and the use of Marmite as a political football, was short-lived. The crisis was resolved Thursday, and Marmite should be back on Tesco shelves soon.
Some 48 percent of Brits will be very happy about this. And the rest of the world will continue to wonder what the hell Marmite even is. British tastebuds: still a mystery.
Jay Hathaway is a former senior writer who specialized in internet memes and weird online culture. He previously served as the Daily Dot’s news editor, was a staff writer at Gawker, and edited the classic websites Urlesque and Download Squad. His work has also appeared on nymag.com, suicidegirls.com, and the Morning News.