A distinctly regional dish, the humble Southland Cheese Roll holds a soft spot in the heart of many. Common in Otago and the Southland of New Zealand, you’ll find them on the menus of bakeries, cafes and bars.
To make, sandwich bread is spread with a sauce of evaporated milk, cheese and onion soup mix. Then, it’s rolled and toasted until slightly crispy. There are variations galore to this – different types of bread or cheese, chopped onion instead of soup mix powder, or the addition of fresh herbs, a dash of Worcestershire sauce or even mustard.
To find the best Southland cheese roll there’s only one thing to do – ask a Southlander. Otherwise, just make sure to eat as many as you can.
We tried many on our cheese roll eating endeavours, from Invercargill to Gore to Bluff. Pictured is one from a cafe tucked away in the corner of Queenstown and it was exceptional. What an unassuming comfort food!