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

Shane White/Dave Bedrosian/Shutterstock/Zuma

The coronavirus is a rapidly developing news story, so some of the content in this article might be out of date. Check out our most recent coverage of the coronavirus crisis, and subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.

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.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.