This morning, we delivered you the news that our hard-earned tax payer dollaz contributed to a fiery Parliamentary discussion about the town origin of the humble Australian snack food, the Chiko Roll.
Two MPs have so far weighed in as a response to NSW Nationals MP Andrew Gee claiming that it’s origins lay in none other than Bathurst, where it is currently manufactured:
“If Australia’s iconic Chiko Roll is more to your liking … well they were made in Bathurst.”
In response to Gee’s comment, MPs Michael McCormack and Lisa Chesters both threw their town’s hats into this incendiary, dangerous ring of debate.
McCormack told ABC,
“We have in our Riverina Museum in Wagga Wagga the Gold Chiko Roll given to us by the manufacturers, acknowledging the fact that Wagga Wagga is home of the Chiko Roll.”
And Chesters told press:
“It’s just outrageous that these NSW MPs … can try and claim credit for the Chiko Roll … it was invented in Bendigo by a Bendigonian.
I’d strongly request the National Party to do their research, at least start with the back of the packet; it says on the back of the packet that the Chiko Roll was born in Bendigo.”
From our deep and extremely thorough research into this topic, it seems like… everyone could kind of be right, in their own way?
The Chiko Roll was created by Australian legend Frank McEncroe, who was a boilermaker from Bendigo (although residents of Castlemaine maintain he was born there).
He allegedly saw people selling Chinese spring rolls outside Richmond Cricket Ground in the early 1950s, and decided they were much too flimsy and wanted a bigger one you can eat with one hand. So he bloody well did.
The roll was sold for the first time in 1951 at the Wagga Wagga Agriculture Show. By 1965, most fish and chip shops stocked and were routinely selling them, which by that point had the ‘Grab a Chiko’ marketing slogan.
However, they reached the height of their popularity in the 1970s, with more than 40 million Chiko Rolls sold Australia-wide each year.
In 2001 to settle this very dispute, both Bendigo and Wagga Wagga were awarded gold-plated Chiko rolls to signify both towns’ contributions to the Aussie snack food game.
We have a definitive answer, from the mouths of the babes at Simplot, who have been manufacturing the god-like snack in Bathurst since 1995.
A PR rep for the brand gave this statement to PEDESTRIAN.TV:
“Well good news to all of you fighting over its home – it kinda comes from everywhere!
The first Chiko Roll was handmade at home by Frank McEncroe (Sir Frank as we call him here at Chiko) in Bendigo.
The very first sale of a Chiko Roll was at the Wagga Wagga Agricultural Show in 1951 where it was an immediate success and sold out by the mid-afternoon of the second day.
The first time it was commercially produced was in a factory in Coburg, Vic, but it then found its home in Bathurst, NSW.
In 2001 Wagga Wagga and Bendigo were awarded a golden Chiko Roll to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Roll’s invention.
So there you have it – everyone has a bit of a claim to the Chiko Roll, it’s home is Australia.”
That bloody settles that then, ya gronks. Chill, pls.
Photo: Chiko Roll.