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Dieters don’t try this at home

May 7, 2010

Swiss are famous for their fondue, Danish for their blocks of refined blues, Brits for their stiff Stilton, but in the deep south of New Zealand, there is another food group unbeknown to many including Kiwis.

It is the kind of snack-come-meal that features in fundraisers, old style cafeterias, and on pub menus. It isn’t French or Italian influenced, it doesn’t feature in trendy Japanese eateries. It is something truly unique to southern New Zealand — the cheese roll.

by Cate

Once a cheap source of yum, this snack has become endangered as a result of rising prices in New Zealand’s dairy industry.

The humble cheese roll can be likened to the Welsh Rarebit, but not quite. It’s simplicity is a dieter’s downfall. Take one bite of these cheesy buttery rolls and the dieter is well on the way to falling of the food wagon; like forever.

Dieters forget about healthy substitutes and leave the low-fat stuff because these weren’t meant to be tampered with. The cheese roll is a work of art.

Making the roll starts with a loaf or two of fresh white, a mix of freshly grated non plastic tasting creamy cheddar, unsweetened evaporated milk, onion and the pìece de résistance — French onion soup mix. Once these rolls have been browned until the cheese melts inside, spread a good dollop of butter all over the roll. Then, ever so gently, pick up the roll and eat until your heart’s content or screams at you to stop. Whichever comes first.

The cheese roll began its life back in the 1930s, possibly after the Depression, but didn’t take off until the invention of sliced bread.

You won’t find these cheesy numbers in the North Island unless the owner hails from the south. But if you’re planning on visiting Dunedin, Invercargill, Gore … you will find cheese rolls in most places.

They used to be one of the cheapest items on the menu however since cheese has escalated in price, these will probably be one of the dearest.

Try them with a pot of black tea or a pint of ale — to wash down all that dairy grease.

As usual on a Friday head over to Delicious Baby for more Photo Friday posts.

Caffeinated Traveller

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9 Comments
  1. travelforaircraft permalink
    May 7, 2010 5:48 pm

    I have only one question — are they better with tea or with coffee!

  2. May 8, 2010 7:54 am

    I can’t believe we lived for half a year in New Zealand and never discovered these. (Never made it to the South Island, though – that must be the explanation). Sounds delicious!

    Great post!

  3. May 8, 2010 2:35 pm

    Travel for aircraft – better with tea too greasy.

    Sophie – now that’s a pity, you missed out on the best part of the country. The south is way more scenic and friendlier than the north.

  4. May 8, 2010 4:59 pm

    Ooh I love cheese but, you’re right, my waistline won’t take it. I love fondue too but that has to be reserved for times when I’ve spent all day ski-ing in the cold to justify the calories.

  5. May 9, 2010 8:58 pm

    MMM, you have me heading to the kitchen for a cup of tea and a buttery roll. I’ve never seen anything close to this in Chicago but I’m thinking of ways to create my own!

  6. May 10, 2010 7:28 am

    Is it bad if I said this made me hungry… until I read the part about evaporated milk AND French onion soup mix! At least they use good quality cheddar since the plastic variety might not give the right gooey consistency.

    Oh my arteries…

  7. May 11, 2010 9:33 am

    Heather – if you ski then you can get away with eating this kind of food I’m sure.

    Fly -Girl – when you create a recipe that’s good let me in on it.

    Gourmantic – oh the arteries yes, these babes will strain from a plateful of cheese rolls.

  8. May 12, 2010 10:37 am

    These combine two of my favorite things: cheese and bread! I bet they would be good with a cold beer. Mmmm…

    • May 12, 2010 12:47 pm

      Very good with a cold beer (or two)!

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