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?