Saturday, January 3, 2009

Speaking of Super-Piss and Pschitt...

Amazingly, we WERE speaking of those liquids in the comments of the last post. As a result, I have been led even further afield in my research.

First (in case you haven't bothered to read it or the comments thereto), the last post was about "things that taste bad". Bass ale was really just one example. But "things that taste bad" is a much larger genre that bears further exploration, don't you think? Of course.

As a natural consequence of this thought process, I soon found myself on the Wikipedia page for "Burton". Not that this city leaves a bad taste in anyone's mouth, but because I was ashamed I had never heard of Bass Ale, and had smartassedly poked fun at the parent city of Bass by linking to a shrug picture in the aforementioned snotty post. 

It turns out (if you believe Wikipedia - and I have learned to be very cautious in that regard) that the city of Burton is historically known far and wide for the brewing of beers. I noted the article didn't exactly come right out and say "fine" beers.

It turns out this brewing opportunity (as it were) is because of the marvelously salty Burton water which they suck from the river Trent, which river, it seems, God, in a fit of some sort of aqueous rage, caused to flow through this beautiful landscape which would become the site of the future city of Burton, and, particularly, of the unfortunate brewery which would one day produce the equally-unfortunate Bass piss ale.

And granite, I think. Granite to make the Trent salty in order to allow for more hops to be used in the brewing of Bass piss ale.

Those of you who know the attention span of Relax Max will nod your heads in empathy when he tells you it was at this point in the Wikipedia article that he lost interest in Burton. Or perhaps dozed off, not sure which. But, just before the act of leaving the page, the mouse button probably already at half-click, one of those cutesy (read: annoying as hell) link-words Wikipedia is so famous for, came flying off the page and struck the dead center of my right eye.

That link-word was "Marmite".

Always seeking to increase my limited American vocabulary, and especially always on the lookout to enrich it with those special pithy British words, I clicked. Yes. I clicked on that word which (I just instantly knew in my heart) only three Americans had ever seen before me. Marmite.

It turns out Burton (or at least one factory in Burton) also produces Marmite. If you are a brewing town, why throw away perfectly good slimy brown used yeast, right? Har! - not one of you, not even Sobriquet, has ever heard of Marmite! And you call yourselves British! Sheeeit.

What word shall I use to describe this delicate condiment? "Repulsive?" "Revolting?" No, not strong enough. Need something stronger. Al Gore comes to mind. "Gore-raising." Ah, yes. Something to do with gore. Or Gore. As you wish. That terrible feeling in your diaphragm as you realize a good purging chunder has become imminent. Such as when an ungodly smell wafts into your unguarded nostrils as you walk your dog past a sewage treatment plant in the dead of Summer. Or when when Al Gore unexpectedly walks into the room. Either way.

The last post was about things that taste unpleasant, and inadvertently brought both Finland and France into the fray as well. Super-Piss. Schitt. Bass Ale. This post will close the chapter. The last word, I promise, on the subject of bad taste will be Marmite. Or Algore. Take your pick.

Actually, come to think of it, "gorge" is the word I was trying to raise, not "gore". Too late now - this post is finished. But "gore" ain't bad either.

Peace. Please do come back for more.


  1. But you didn't mention Bovril. How could you not mention Bovril? And, since we're on the subject, did you know Bovril was once beef tea? And my grandmother swore by beef tea to cure all ills. There is no longer any beef in Bovril.

    And then there's Vegemite....

  2. I keep hearing of that stuff, have even see some weird british things in a bottle people use like a mayo, and it's icky. But I wouldn't hate it until I tried it. :)

  3. oooh, I used to love bovril at football games.

    As for marmite, I eat that on toast a lot. Scrummy.

  4. @A. - Bovril? Vegemite? What's next, Pemmican?

    Puh-leeze. :)

    Rule Britannia.

  5. @Chica - You are so diplomatic. Let me tell ya... a pile of doggy doo might taste like chocolate cake but I will never know it. Sometimes appearances are NOT deceiving.

    Thanks for stopping by. And please take a moment to update your avatar. It is several hours old already. :)

  6. @Chica - My suggestion would be the one with the crossed eyes with your sons on your lap. Just the face part. For what it's worth. :)

  7. @Caroline - I don't know what Bovril is and I refuse to look it up. Just to spite A. and you. But I don't think you have ever been to a real football game in your life. :)

    Let me get this straight: you go to a football game and eat this bovril stuff and wash it down with a pail of Bass ale? Then what? Chunder city. And then you wonder why football fans get a bad rap. And you are probably one of the most blatant offenders. You have to watch the quiet ones. :) :)

    I have missed your little smiling face. Write a post and tell us how your trip to New Zealand was. And I am getting tired of waiting for the pictures. Nike: just DO it!

  8. well if you ever checked my blog, you'd see one picture :)

    I'll post the rest soon, I promise.

    mmmmn, bovril.

  9. I visited the Bass brewery at Burton-on-Trent when I was a student - specifically, because I was a member of the British Association (for the Advancement of Science and Technology) Student Section and we thought it would be fun to visit somewhere that
    a) had the same name as us (we were BASS)
    b) involved scientific methods in its manufacturing processes
    c) gave us free beer
    And while I was there, I touched a Marmite tanker. It was one of the most memorable moments of my life.

  10. @Caroline - You are right, of course. But your rightness is more than offset by the bovril. :)

    @Catherine - What an interesting coincidence! I took a brewery tour once too and they also gave us (one) free beer. The tour included the stables where they kept their Clydesdale horses. That was interesting. No marmite tanks though. At least not that they showed us. A river went through the town as well.

    But you never said if you actually LIKED marmite. Everybody says it tastes just fine. I haven't heard even one person say they don't like it.


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