What is a cheese roll and where to find it




You might not associate New Zealand with intensely regional cuisine, with a dish that is only served in a small area, populated by 250,000 people – but then maybe you don’t. familiar with the cheese roll. A delicacy that finds its home in cold Southland, a cheese roll is a thing of simple beauty, a student-friendly snack that takes inspiration from the Welsh rarebit and, shall we say, rolls with it. You start with a slice of dodgy white bread, spread it with a melted mixture of shredded cheddar cheese, evaporated milk and onion soup powder, roll it up, butter it and stick it under the broiler until until it reaches toasty golden perfection. Sweet like.


Although it seems safe to assume that cheese rolls were invented by members of Dunedin’s vast student population after a few too many Speight’s Gold Medal Ales, the history of this dish dates back to the 1930s – the first recipe in print appearing in a Kiwi newspaper in 1935. Today’s much-loved “southern sushi” rose to popularity in the 1950s, around the same time sliced ​​bread became widely available, although t is still rare to find one outside the South Island.


Most bakeries like Invercargill and Dunedin will make a good cheese roll, although The Batch Cafe (facebook.com/batchcafe) in the former and Hungry Hobos (hungryhobos.co.nz) in the latter are perennially popular.


You were paying attention above, obviously, so you already understand there’s nowhere in Sydney or Melbourne to order a real Southland cheese roll. Our advice: search online for a recipe, buy some ingredients and get ready to grill.


Although the very basic cheese roll recipe is mentioned above, many Southland cooks tinker around the edges. Diced onion is a frequent cheese invader these days, while other foodies add mayonnaise, parsley, garlic, and even crawfish or chorizo.

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