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Vegemite lands Kevin Rudd in trouble at US Customs

Some people love vegemite, some people hate it and, evidently some people have no idea what it is. Kevin Rudd, the Australian foreign minister, has been forced use all of his powers of diplomacy to convince dubious members of the US Customs service to allow him to take a jar of Vegemite, his nation’s favourite spread, onto a plane.

Last Sunday, Rudd, who was on his way from Mexico to New York to address United Nations General Assembly, was stopped at US Customs, notoriously known as the strictest in the world, and questioned over the mystery brown paste, which authorities feared could represent a potentially dangerous liquid.

To avoid an international diplomatic incident, Rudd was forced to explain that Vegemite is in fact a popular breakfast spread in Australia, made from yeast extract.

“Only problem travelling to NY is that they tried to confiscate our Vegemite at the airport. Needed Foreign Ministerial intervention,” Rudd said on Twitter.

“Airport staff were surprised when I said it is good for you & I ate it for breakfast. They then waved me through,” he added.

In March, during a visit to the US by the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, President Barack Obama announced that Vegemite, a culinary cousin of Marmite, was “horrible”.

Vegemite was invented in 1923 and has become a staple of the Australian pantry and psyche, with generations of children growing up as “happy little Vegemites”.

It is so beloved, that former Prime Minister John Howard once claimed that more Australians knew the lyrics of a Vegemite advertising jingle written in 1954 than knew the Australian national anthem.

Source: The Telegraph


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