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Tom Hanks needs a Vegemite intervention

A staple of Australian life, Hanks went too far.

For many people, the coronavirus pandemic didn’t feel real until Tom Hanks announced he and his wife Rita Wilson had contracted the virus while on location in Australia. If one our country’s most beloved figures wasn’t immune, what hope did the rest of us have?

Thankfully Hanks and Wilson were released from quaratine on Tuesday, but it didn’t stop us enjoying their time of seclusion — all because of the simply LUDICROUS amount of Vegemite he used on his morning toast.

This is going hard in the paint. It’s bold. It’s wild. It’s largely unthinkable. This isn’t entirely Hanks’ fault — he is an American learning to adapt to life in Australia, after all — but it is ridiculous.

As someone who was raised on Vegemite, I can tell you there’s a whole set of unwritten rules that should be followed in order to enjoy Australia’s premiere yeast-based spread.

First, it’s key to understand what Vegemite tastes like. It’s an acquired, intensely salty taste mixed with this weird, tar-like funkiness I truly can’t explain. Plus, it has the consistency of thin peanut butter, which means you need to be very careful in how you apply it. In America, the concept of “spread” is loose. We don’t really spread things; we smear them like we’re adding mortar to a brick. This is a generally wonderful, flavor-boosting concept, but when applied to strong flavors, it can backfire.

Because of this, Vegemite always, ALWAYS needs to be accompanied with butter. It’s far too sticky and dry to use alone, so you need some natural dairy lubricant to make it all work.

Last but not least, the toast needs to be piping hot.

I’m not saying all of this to chide Hanks. He is a hero and national treasure, and I can’t imagine during a tough time like this he wants to punish his tastebuds with a grotesquely thick layer of yeasty salt spread. This is simply to help educate him during his time in Australia, and hopefully make his breakfasts better and more instagrammable.