For three days I have been trying to think of a provocative and illuminating title for this post and all I could come up with is the sun is out.

While it’s true, it’s hardly provocative nor illuminating.

As a responsible blogger one tends to look for the best, but it doesn’t always happen.

The sun is out, it’s still cloudy, but the day looks promising after five days of solid cloud, rain and cold nights. The rain we have had has threatened the hill country of the state and there have been landslides, houses destroyed and people evacuated in the same areas that had over 900 deaths a year ago.

Old Marmite Jar

Yesterday I had a visitor, he’s a chemistry teacher who has taught himself English over the course of 20 years; he’s pretty good actually, but because of a lack of opportunity to speak, he is not fluent. The subject turned to things like peanut butter, black sludge and then Marmite (another form of black sludge).

I have talked about Marmite before, about a month ago in a post Black Sludge on Toast, but the matter in hand was that Marmite is not, to my knowledge, available in Brazil.

BTW, if you remember the old jars like the one pictured here, you are older than me. I had one, it was raided from my mother’s ‘jar cupboard’ in the laundry to use in my lab in the garage. You see at age 13 and all through high school I was a chemistry buff. My jar held the residue of an experiment, arsenic nitrate. I had many little jars with arsenic compunds. My father had a large can of arsenic trioxide, he used it in the garden, and of course what budding chemist could resist the temptation to experiment?

While I am writing this I am scouring blogs and sites that might tell me that Marmite is indeed available in Brazil. I found this description “it’s like a dark brown, salty honey” on Eat Rio. Well, no luck on the buying, but I have discovered that one can ‘make’ Marmite. It’s a longish process, taking ten days according to The English Can Cook, and one needs to be located near a brewery. Marmite is based on beer scum, or the top fermentation of brewer’s yeast.

The above blog is also cited by The Press, a Christchurch newspaper, so it must be on the right track, DIY Marmite only for the Brave. New Zealand is suffering because of a Marmite-famine caused by a fire at the only factory that makes the stuff.

So much for that black sludge. I had a can of the other black sludge (Murphy’s Irish Stout) yesterday in the presence of an AMBev rep, and inquired of him when his company would be supplying this heaven-sent nectar. He was, ahhh, non-commital.

I think that about does it for now. Maybe a Travel post later, haven’t a clue at the moment what it will be.