I was throwing a totally not-vegan pig pickin' (born and bred North Carolinian here, y'all) and needed a vegan barbecue dish so all of my friends could enjoy the celebration. I decided to whip up some jackfruit barbecue, my go-to replacement for a pulled pork texture, and after adding the sauce and braising it for 45 minutes, it tasted sort of bland and insipid. I was quickly running out of time and simultaneously still keeping a close eye on the smoker. I rummaged through the pantry, needing a culinary Hail Mary, and eyed a jar of Vegemite. Creativity and desperation met. I twisted the jar open, scooped out a tablespoon and plopped it into the braising fruit, crossing my fingers for the best. After it melted into the mixture, I had a taste of it. My mouth was filled with salty, sweet, spicy and a hint of vinegar. It was like the Vegemite had turned the volume up to eleven. From then on, I've realized you can use Vegemite to help put the finishing touches on many dishes in similar need of some punch. It's good for everything from stews to beans, but one of the most successful recipes I tried it in was a split pea soup during a time when I had run out of chicken stock.