The Southland Cheese Roll

Perhaps one of the most sacred treasures of the South Island, nobody really knows when or where this recipe came from. All we know is that some point between 1930 and 1950 with the invention of sliced bread came the creation of the cheese roll. It’s a staple of the fundraising scene, and a café classic. Depending on who you ask, ingredients may change, but here’s an award-winning recipe that we think might just be the best!


500g grated cheese (a mild blend, mild cheddar or tasty)

1 tin evaporated milk (the original recipe recommends Nestlé Carnation)

1 packet of onion soup mix

1 finely chopped onion

1 tsp mustard powder (or wholegrain mustard)

1 cup of cream

1 loaf of sandwich white bread


1. Heat all ingredients, except the bread, in the microwave for six minutes and stir a few times while cooking.

2. Let the mixture cool and spread generously over the bread slices.

3. Roll the bread slices into logs and place on a baking tray.

4. Grill in the oven, turning as needed until golden brown.

5. Serve smothered in butter and be careful not to burn your mouth!

Recipe credit: Joy Jones, The finest cheese-roll chef in the south. Otago Daily Times.