The delicious little treat is 87 years old having originated in Southland in the 1930s, with the first recipe being recorded in the newspaper ‘The New Zealand Truth’, back in 1935.
Back then, we had a population just above 1.5 million, King George V was the king, and the original Labour party of the country was elected into government, led by Michael Joseph Savage.
Understandably, cheese rolls became much more popular when sliced bread became widely available across the country.
The first cookbook cheese roll recipe appeared in 1951, in Dunedin’s Roslyn Church Jubilee Cookery Book. There was no recipe recorded in the north until the late 70s, so it looks the southern Kiwis have bragging rights for this one.
It is believed the snack became popular down South “due to the cold climate and prevalence of soup as a meal option.”
Cheese rolls and soup sounds like the perfect remedy for those cold Dunedin days!
Now that you know how they became to be such a staple in New Zealand, go ahead and cook some of them!
The recipe says all you need is some bread, grated tasty cheese, a pack of onion soup mix, and some boiling water.
Combine the cheese, soup mix, and boiling water in a bowl "until well mixed to a texture that is spreadable with a butter knife."
Then, spread a good amount on a piece of bread and roll. Repeat with however many rolls you want.
The rolls can be cooked in an oven until golden brown. If you want the "crunchy bits of cheese that fall out the side" you should use a sandwich presser of a George Foreman type grill.
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