Observant readers might have noticed that I like Marmite.
They'd have been wrong. I've loved Marmite-flavoured things since I discovered Twiglets as a toddler (ok, they call it 'yeast extract' on the packet, but it's really just generic Marmite). More recently I discovered Fudge's Marmite Biscuits (available in good delicatessens, Fortnum and Mason, and Morrisons). They don't last. They may well keep, but I wouldn't know. Then there were the Marmite breadsticks (Morrisons and Sainsburys) that got me through all that flying. But every time I've tried actual Marmite I haven't really liked it very much (not quite as much as I dislike milk, but heading that way).
Until today, when I had a sudden thought that it would be the perfect accompaniment to the slice of Morrisons' Polish Bloomer (light rye bread) and butter that I was eating. Fortunately I had a jar in the larder, from my last experiment with Marmite-eating. Unfortunately, it was four years out of date.
I reflected that nothing containing that much salt can ever really be said to go off, and that any bacteria capable of surviving in a jar of Marmite would be so specialised in their adapatations that they would probably implode when faced with the human body. I spread it, I loved it, and then I had a worrying thought. Perhaps I only like four-year-old jar-matured Marmite? This could be a problem, if only because I should have started buying it three years ago. I think I'll have another slice while I reflect on this.