Vegemite is Australia’s common denominator. It’s in every kitchen from Malcolm Turnbull’s to Kath Day Night’s, every office pantry from rural real-estate offices to high-powered law firms. Everyone agrees it’s great on toast. No one – no one – asked for it to be frozen on a stick.

We were forced to consider Vegemite icy poles in December when an official tweet from the makers of Australia’s best known spread told us to brace ourselves for the dessert no one wants or needs.

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While the nation gasped then let out a resounding, “Hell no”, I stocked up on supplies to make the devil’s dessert at home.

I like to think I’m open-minded when it comes to our favourite black spread: I thought the Vegemite x Cadbury chocolate was okay (basically like weird salted-caramel chocolate), and I’ve even dabbled in Vegemite and honey on toast.

But I was not ready for this.

The recipe for Vegemite icy-poles doesn’t actually sound too bad. There are quite a few ingredients that – on their own, or at least when not combined with Vegemite – would make an excellent iced treat: cocoa, sugar, honey, cream, milk, corn flour. The recipe only calls for two tablespoons of Vegemite. Surely, I thought, the sheer volume of other delicious ingredients will dilute the Vegemite taste down to just some kind of vague saltiness.

I should have turned back when, over the stove, the mixture looked like a rich chocolate-y batter with a huge black clump of yeast extract stuck to the end of the whisk.

I should have turned back when I poured the mixture into the icy-pole moulds and covered my kitchen and forearms with brown mess.

I should have turned back when I licked the bowl and gagged.

I should have turned back before I tipped the excess mixture into the ice-cube trays of my fridge. (#zerowaste)

But I didn’t.

After the first lick I devoured a mango to remind myself that there’s goodness in the world.

There’s no doubt about it: the icy pole tastes like Vegemite. Vegemite that’s been trapped under ice, rotting next to dead fish and snow sludge for 5000 years. There’s an odd sweetness to it that makes it taste off. It’s also really creamy.

Cold, creamy and rancid.

Vegemite is best enjoyed with a lot of bread (or another flat carb) to balance out its potency, so your tastebuds don’t recoil upon contact.

Everyone knows Vegemite is a game of ratios – the amount of Vegemite that’s right for you is so personal. Fact: no one else gets it right when they make you Vegemite on toast.

Maybe I could handle a Vegemite icy-pole if it were sandwiched between 37 wafers. Maybe. But there’s no point trying because it’s melting down my arm due to long breaks between licks during which I contemplate my path in life and all the decisions that led me to this moment.

Icy poles are not made better with Vegemite. As you already, definitely knew would be the case. I just needed to spend five hours of my life making sure. You’re welcome.

Emily Naismith is the host of Australian food podcast Ingredipedia. There’s a Vegemite episode in the works.

This article was updated on February 16, 2018.