Tom Hanks, Spread As Much Vegemite on Your Toast As You Like. But Here’s the Thing You’re Missing.

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Everyone is right to be worried about the spread of coronavirus. But what about the spread of Vegemite?

The famously salty Aussie staple appeared as a cameo in this weekend’s corona-drama Down Under, thanks to actor Tom Hanks, who sparked an outbreak of concern, and a historic debate among our citizens:

Is this too much Vegemite?

Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson tested positive for coronavirus in Australia last week, while in production for Baz Luhrmann’s new, untitled film about Elvis. But when he posted his thanks to the Australian people on Twitter and Instagram this weekend, from an isolation unit at a Gold Coast hospital, Australians were frankly worried—and not about the coronavirus.

“Tom, step away from the Vegemite,” said one Insta-user. “That’s wAAAAAAAY too much.” Most agreed. Said another: “I adore Tom Hanks and I’m sure he is in safe hands, but somebody desperately needs to help him with his Vegemite application.”

Here I am, Tom. Mother Jones’s senior Australian, to set this straight. I’d like to file a dissent to the growing consensus: This is a good amount of Vegemite. A real pro-level spread. A YOLO spread. A crisis spread. I’m into it.

Where I have my real gripe is Hank’s lack of butter. Here’s my own guide for Tom Hanks:

  • Speed is important. The snack is best served hot. Vegemite is at peak-deliciousness when lots of butter (or margarine, whatever you like) is applied to fresh medium-toasted bread, right away, followed by a deep-dig spread from the Vegemite jar. Vegemite is dangerously delicious. I spread it on thick. The point here is to achieve a buttery, melty mess of Vegemite atop hot toast. Pure alchemy.
  • I prefer a thin-sliced multigrain in this situation. But it’s equally delicious on sourdough for that extra crunch, or straight-up white bread if you want a bit of softness, aided by the butter.
  • Rapid cooling of toast is a major problem for this snack. Even the staging required to get Hank’s photograph would have cooled the toast far too much for my liking. The desired sequence of sensations should go something like this: satisfying crunch of the toast, before sinking into the gooey, salty mix on a rapidly softening piece of hot toast.
  • Consume for any meal.
  • Now, if you’re a real pro, add a sharp cheddar to finish it. Consume quickly. Welcome to Australia. And all the best wishes, Tom, for a speedy recovery.

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FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

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