The infamous Southern Cheese Roll... a local tradition and delicacy that is a must-try for any traveller to Southland.
Like the historic tiffs over Pavlova, Russell Crowe, Marmite and more, the origin story of the cheese roll can also be well debated. Truth be told, no one really knows how the cheese roll came about, but we're convinced the best cheese rolls are found in Southland!
The Cheese Roll is perhaps one of our most sacred treasures. Early recipes for the dish date from the 1930s, with the earliest being in a New Zealand newspaper in 1935. The popularity of the delicacy seems to have taken off since the invention of sliced bread in the 1950s, and nowadays, you can find them in cafes, bars or restaurants across Southland.
However, they are more than just cheese and bread. These rolls are the embodiment of Southland, and they hook you in from the first bite. Ask a Southlander who makes the best cheese roll, and you'll most likely receive a different answer each time, so the most scientific way to find the ultimate cheese roll is simple: try as many as possible.
It’s not called “southern sushi” for nothing; the humble cheese roll is a delicacy that requires finesse, an often-secret recipe and hands well-trained in the art of the roll. There are a lot of different recipes floating around, anywhere from the classic cheese roll to a cheese roll with crayfish, stuffed with chorizo, made with sheep cheese or even deep fried! Try a Southland Cheese Roll - you're worth it.
Check out Southland's Annual Cheese Roll event in Bluff while you're down here.
Or check one of the many other cafes that Southland is home too here!