Vegemite Nearly Causes Diplomatic Incident

Customs officials try to confiscate Aussie Kevin Rudd's jar
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2011 11:47 AM CDT
Vegemite Nearly Causes Diplomatic Incident
In this undated photo provided by Kraft Foods Australia shows the yet to be named new version of the iconic Down Under vegetable spread Vegemite - a salty, slightly bitter spread made from brewer's yeast.   (AP Photo/Kraft Foods, HO)

Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd had to put his diplomatic powers to use this weekend … when US Customs officials tried to confiscate his Vegemite. What’s Vegemite, you ask? The Telegraph calls the popular Australian breakfast spread, made from yeast extract, a “mystery brown paste” and a cousin to Marmite, but apparently customs officials thought it might be a dangerous liquid. Rudd, who was en route from Mexico to New York yesterday to address the UN General Assembly, got the Mexican Foreign Service involved; the group ultimately convinced US officials to let him take his jar of paste on the plane.

“Airport staff were surprised when I said it is good for you & I ate it for breakfast. They then waved me through,” Rudd tweeted. The Telegraph notes that President Obama once called the stuff “horrible.” (Click to see why its cousin, Marmite, was banned in Denmark.)

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