Cheese rolls are something of a southern New Zealand delicacy. Chances are, if you grew up in Canterbury, Otago or Southland, you have spent time rolling these tasty morsels for family dinners, school lunches or a fundraising event. Many a South Island community cookbook features the local take on this old classic.
I first learnt to make cheese rolls in home economics at Heaton Intermediate in Christchurch. To be truly authentic, a cheese roll should really be made using packet onion soup mix and cheese, made into a paste with the addition of a little water. But I just can’t leave well enough alone and have been playing around with flavour combinations, arriving at the blend of sweet, caramelized onions and sharp, strong cheddar.