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Bread Spreads

Peanut butter is immensely popular in the United States. Each year, Americans consume 800 million pounds of the stuff. (And if it takes about 720 peanuts to make one pound, how many peanuts are ground up yearly?)

But not everyone likes peanut butter. In fact, most children in the rest of the world can't imagine eating it. They think it's disgusting!

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So what do these children spread on bread instead? Here's a sampling. Would you like to try any?

AUSTRALIA: Vegemite yeast spread is Australia's answer to Marmite. It has a weaker taste than its British cousin.

EGYPT: Aishta is the thick cream of water-buffalo milk. Some top it with sugar, others with honey.

ENGLAND: Marmite is a dark brown, thin paste with a very strong, slightly salty flavor - that's why you spread it thin. It contains yeast extract, salt, vegetable extract, and spices.

EUROPE: Nutella is popular throughout Europe. The chocolate-and-ground-hazelnut spread was invented in postwar Italy. It outsells Jif and Skippy peanut butter combined.

FRANCE: Schoolchildren snack on 'pain au chocolat,' French bread with a chocolate bar inside.

INDIA: Chutneys are a sweet-and-sour delicacy. They are made with a variety of main ingredients and spices. Mango is common.

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ITALY: Bruschetta is made by toasting slices of bread, rubbing them with a cut clove of garlic, and then brushing them with olive oil.

MIDDLE EAST: Baba ghanouj is made of roasted eggplant mixed with garlic and other ingredients. It is scooped onto flat bread. Hummus, a puree of cooked chickpeas, is also popular. It originated in North Africa.

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