Earlier this afternoon I attempted to consume one square of Cadbury's Dairy Milk chocolate with Vegemite. You won't believe what happened next.
(Sorry, couldn't resist.)
I was finally moved to try it after the price was slashed to about 25% of the original. Curiously enough there was still plenty of it on the shelves. I wonder how they'll dispose of the excess? Will the states have "not in my backyard" debates, whilst happily accepting nuclear waste as a far less noxious alternative? Can the stuff be destroyed? How many young priests and old priests will it take?
I don't think I've ever in my entire life voluntarily consumed one single square of chocolate in a single sitting. Even the Vegemite's predecessor Salted Caramel lasted at least a row before I could be really certain what it was doing. Believe me when I say I have a serving size problem – a whole block of as-nature-intended-full-of-sugar chocolate is not a problem.
So was it irredeemably disgusting?
Let me get to that. First, some declarations: I like Vegemite. Vegemite on toast is one of the best medicines in the world. I suffer from frequent tummy upsets, and Vegemite on toast has been my frequent saviour.
I also currently have severely limited senses of smell and taste, largely due to the effects of one of my pain medications. A week or two ago I managed to clear the drug from my system long enough to once again smell the incredible overpowering stench of Husband's socks. OMG I though the dead had risen, changed their minds, and gone back to quietly rotting again. Hoo boy, that was nasty. On the same night however, I smelled hamburger. It was just the wrapping, no traces of scraps but my golly I was in ecstasies. I very nearly ate the paper, and could smell it for hours afterwards. I could smell the meat, oh the meat, the sauce, the bun, the tomato, THE LETTUCE... It was good, so very very good. However, the pain reasserted itself and I had to sacrifice both olfactory heaven and hell to take the drug again and I am thus protected from the both horrors of socks and the bliss of food.
I'm pretty sure Husband's socks still smell like all the demons of hell. I'm a bit worried that I might smell, that my house might smell but I just can't tell. My sense of taste has been effectively reduced to salt and sugar, but at least I have a deep appreciation for texture.
So you're the last person in the world qualified to conduct a taste test of any sort?
Yes and no. Mostly yes. I didn't taste the Vegemite chocolate (which I gather from nearly all reports is a mercy up there with being immune to Husband's socks) but my brain did its impaired best to feed me information about it. This is what my brain reported after half a square: Nothing. I was at least expecting salt and sugar, but no. I ate the other half of the square. Ah, there it was, generic hints of salt and sugar, pretty much like the salted caramel.
But then it hit me.
My brain exploded. It even aspolded. I think it went into some kind of panic normally associated with the biochemical realisation that you've just consumed something Very Bad Indeed and that given the choice (and assuming you survive the first taste) you should never ever do that again. Never ever ever.
However, there were two things missing from this experience – an identifiable flavour to go with the warning, and the usual sense of disgust that the reptile brain likes to throw at you to teach you lessons about Bad Things You Should Never Ever (Ever) Put In Your Mouth. Ever.
Weird is the word we're all looking for here. Weird. But ever-so-slightly familiarly weird because I've trialled a lot of prescription medication in my time and this was a bit like a drug side effect of the to-be-avoided variety. It was not Food, is what I'm saying. And even though I couldn't taste the stuff I've spent much of the evening attempting to cleanse my palate of whatever it was. In the end celery sort of did the trick. I had planned to repeat the experiment before attempting a write up, but I just can't, so you're getting slightly stale memories here.
I have yet to decide the fate of the remainder of the block. I can't in conscience consign it to landfill for future generations to deal with. Burning it will pollute the atmosphere and possibly melt the glaciers. Any ideas?