Australia's Kevin Rudd in airport Vegemite showdown


"You only need about THIS much Vegemite on your toast," Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd tells world leaders... Just kidding. Rudd is pictured here on March 10, 2011, during a meeting with his Tunisian counterpart Mouldi Kefi in Tunis.


Fethi Belaid

New York Customs officials stopped Australia’s Foreign Minister, Kevin Rudd at the weekend, after he was found brandishing a suspicious jar of black paste.

Rudd — who was on his way to New York to address the United Nations General Assembly — joked on Twitter that he was forced to use “foreign ministerial intervention” to convince officials that the paste was not a hazardous material.

Instead, it was his nation’s favorite breakfast food, Vegemite, which tastes best spread thinly on hot toast. "Airport staff were surprised when I said it was good for you," he later posted. “They then waved me through.”

Vegemite is a savory paste made from yeast extract, and is kind of similar to Marmite.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Prime Minister Julia Gillard also jumped to the defense of her beloved Vegemite — when she visited the U.S. in March.

The subject came up when she and President Barack Obama visited a school in Virginia.

Obama described Vegemite as "a quasi-vegetable by-product paste that you smear all over your toast," adding that it was "horrible."

But Gillard would have none of it. She said that Vegemite was "good," so long as you remembered not to spread it on too thick.