Friday, January 14, 2011

Change is inevitable...

As time passes, I realised that things as well as human beings do change. Nothing is certain and not even your favourite chocolate muffin with melt in the mouth chocolate chips is permanent. It just cannot be done in the same consistency and quality you fell in love with at first bite and the muffin will never have the same amount of chocolate chips you have during the previous visit (that is if you bother to count them).

As superficial as it may seem, the person you fell in love with years ago may probably now be out of mind and out of sight today, well at least from my real experience. If you ask me, I would never have thought that this day would come but it sure did.


Just as when you think that there is a glimmer of hope that some things would never change, and that’s when you’re taken by surprise. That includes purchasing a bottle of your favourite Bovril because of the beef extract except that now it doesn’t have any beef in it. What if one day, someone told you that Bovril's makers have taken the beef out of the world's most famous beef drink?


Where have the beef gone?


The truth to be told is that the Bovril that you’re consuming now is not the same beef extract that you had in your porridge or toast years ago. The Bovril with the red signature bottle cap that you are buying today is actually made of yeast extract. Did you realise that?


It all started when there was a spread of Mad Cow disease in Britain. The prions (infectious agent composed of protein in a misfolded form) can't be destroyed even by exposing to high heat through cooking or boiling and thus the British Bovril is banned in other countries. And so Bovril has been vegetable based since 2004. Therefore, Bovril has turned out to be a Marmite!


When they switched to the new formula, Unilever says that extensive taste tests were conducted before they introduced it - 50% of people preferred the taste of the meat-free version, with 10% being unable to tell the difference. That means that 40% can tell the difference. I must admit that initially I didn't taste the difference, probably I'm not eating it often enough but recently I found the precious bottle of BEEF Bovril in Paris and I bought it.


It has to be the best purchase from Paris!


I tasted the two bottles side by side - 1 yeast-extract version and the other 1 a beef version. It does taste different. The one with beef has a slightly more salty and a strong robust taste of beef. I bought 3 bottles of this and I do hope I will not run out of it before I find where else I could get the beef version.


But then, in 2006, Unilever announced that the beef be put back into Bovril. However, the beef version is not available in Malaysia due to the strict restrictions by the government on non-halal meat products, and Malaysia is one of the biggest consumers of Bovril. Initially I bought Bovril because of the beef extract but knowing that it's an yeast-extract now, it doesn't matter if it's Marmite or Bovril. Afterall, there's no distinction between the two except for the branding that one favours. In this case, I think Marmite has won the battle.


So are you a Bovril or Marmite fan?



19 comments:

thule a.k.a leo said...

no lah... for some reason, I can't accept the taste of both Marmite and Bovril! but my wife loves and swears by these two... sigh!!

eiling lim said...

Thule: haha so i see that u're not a fan of both. hmm..

Anonymous said...

oh Bovril is my childhood memories of late night suppers and sick days. and i have it in my kitchen at all times! I LOVE BOVRIL!

suituapui said...

They have the beef Bovril in Sibu - I've bought that a couple of times...but dunno if there's anymore around. Have not bought it for a while.

The yeast version is more or less like Marmite which is in fact, yeast extract. I like Marmite too...so I don't mind whether the Bovril is beef or not.

But no Vegemite for me,that's for sure. Yucks!

Sean said...

i don't like marmite or bovril either! too salty and overpowering for me! :D

eiling lim said...

Anon: Yeah me too. I remembered that I used to make Bovril drinks too and drink it like a soup.

STP: Really? They do have beef bovril there? I thought it was banned in malaysia.

Sean: haha.. you missed out something good!

Huai Bin said...

I can eat both Bovril and Marmite actually but I somehow prefer the later coz I ate more of it when I was in NZ and Aussie. The taste reminds me of high school in NZ. :)

siewming said...

Hi Eiling,
do you mind to tell me where you get the beef brovril?I would like to buy it when i go to Paris on 28th feb 2011

Chien said...

i like marmite!!

Anonymous said...

Changed because you expect and demand more.

eiling lim said...

Huai Bin: I see that you're a Marmite fan. My dad actually forced me to like Marmite because he disapproved us of eating beef. hehe

Siew Ming: oh it's easy. You can just get it at the Food Hall/supermarket of Galeries Lafayette.

Chien: hmmm how come so many Marmite fans?!!

Anon: I think you're out of topic.

siewming said...

Thanks for the information

Anonymous said...

out of topic?

As time passes, I realised that things as well as human beings do change. Nothing is certain and not even your favourite chocolate muffin with melt in the mouth chocolate chips is permanent. It just cannot be done in the same consistency and quality you fell in love with at first bite and the muffin will never have the same amount of chocolate chips you have during the previous visit (that is if you bother to count them).

As superficial as it may seem, the person you fell in love with years ago may probably now be out of mind and out of sight today, well at least from my real experience. If you ask me, I would never have thought that this day would come but it sure did.

Simon said...

bovril or marmite. yeast or beef extracts. both also good. back when i was young, i use to eat it out of the bottle! ahh .. childhood memories.

eiling lim said...

Anon: well if you noticed, the main topic here is the bovril changing from beef extract to yeast extract and the starting paragraphs are an intro in a flowery way. It's not about me and my demands.

Simon: Wow.. that is definitely too salty already!

suituapui said...

Bovril was banned when the news about the mad cow disease broke out...and for a while, we could only get Bovril made from yeast extract. These days, we do get those with the sticker "Real beef Extract" on the bottle.

eiling lim said...

STP: I see... where could I get this then?

Yi Ling said...

I love Bovril and have been buying occasionally for comsumption when craving strikes.
I never read labels until these few years when I need to feed those foods to my daughters. Recently, I was also shocked to find that the beef is gone!
If STP mentioned about the beef bovril in Sibu, I think I know which shop. I am going to ask my dad to get me some and pass to me during CNY.

eiling lim said...

Yi Ling: Wah you have the same name as my youngest sister except that there is no space between the 2 words. Yeah get the beef version. it tasted so much better. Thanks for dropping by!

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