Minor diplomatic spat when US customs queries Aussie foreign minister's Vegemite

Kevin Rudd, the Australian foreign minister, reports that customs at New York's JFK airport tried to confiscate his supply of Vegemite, the Australian analogue to Marmite, a dark brown salty paste made from brewer's yeast and the sins of the multitudes, which is counted as a high-grade toast-topping in certain circles.

"Only problem travelling to NY is that they tried to confiscate our Vegemite at the airport. Needed foreign ministerial intervention," Rudd tweeted from New York.

"Airport staff were surprised when I said it is good for you & I ate it for breakfast. They then waved me through," he added.

Vegemite was also a source of disagreement when Julia Gillard made her only visit to the United States as prime minister in March. She and the US president, Barack Obama, visited a high school in Virginia where an 11th grade student asked what Vegemite was.

"It's horrible," Obama exclaimed.

Hands off my Vegemite, Kevin Rudd tells US airport staff

(Image: Vegemite for sale, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from martinhoward's photostream)