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‘Ultimate’ southern cheese roll announced

MEDIA RELEASE  – Tuesday 6 July 2010


Winner of Science Festival ‘ultimate’ southern cheese roll competition announced

New Zealand International Science Festival, 6-11 July, Dunedin, New Zealand

The winner of the New Zealand International Science Festival ‘ultimate’ southern cheese roll competition was announced today, Tuesday 6 July at 12.30 midday at Wall Street, in Dunedin.  Joy Jones from South Dunedin was crowned the maker of the finest southern cheese roll.
Joy revealed her winning recipe to the festival team and said “I’ve been making cheese rolls for over 8 years – this is my mother’s recipe and I originally started them as a bar snack when we ran a hotel in Central and they became really popular. I can’t believe I’ve won!”

81 entries were received by cheese roll lovers from Invercargill to Christchurch. The expert panel of judges tasted every single cheese roll and chose Joy’s cheese rolls as the winner.  Professor Phil Bremer and his team in the Food Science Department at the University of Otago scrutinised the winning cheese rolls and the following quality attributes were used as criteria; appearance, flavour, texture and nutrition.

Bremer said the winning cheese rolls were a stand out with a substantial amount of filling (with 45% cheese) and a traditional flavour of onion soup mix and evaporated milk giving them a real kiwi theme.  “The filling was flavoursome, thick, cohesive and smooth with a full bodied texture that delivered a rich mouth-feel. Heating the ingredients in the microwave was key to achieving a homogeneous easily spreadable filling that did not separate or go greasy when heated in the cheese roll.”

Associate Director, Chris Green said the competition was designed around the festival theme of ‘Everyday Science: Food for Thought. “It’s all about discovering the part science plays in our everyday activities including preparing, cooking and enjoying ‘ultimate’ southern cheese rolls. We were surprised how many entries were received and want to thank all of the entrants who sent in cheese rolls. Thank you to MOJO Cafe, Fisher & Paykel Appliances Dunedin, Nestle NZ Ltd and Mainland Cheese.”

The expert panel of judges, included food and wine writer Charmian Smith from the Otago Daily Times, Tony Heptinstall (Hospitality Programme Manager at Otago Polytechnic), Damian Newell of More FM and Jason Moore from MOJO Cafe. The judges gave the 81 entries a comprehensive “grilling”, including examining factors such as taste, texture, appearance and the all-important “ooze factor”.

MOJO cafe in Wall Street Mall, Dunedin, will make and sell cheese rolls based on the winning recipe during the week of the festival from 6-11 July, with all profits going to Joy’s chosen organisation, Living Options Charitable Trust in Central Otago. The public are being encouraged to visit Mojo and experience these ‘ultimate’ southern cheese rolls!

The New Zealand International Science Festival ‘ultimate’ southern cheese roll recipe by Joy Jones

500 grams grated cheese – (Mainland Mild Blend or Mild Cheddar)

1 tin Nestle carnation evaporated milk

1 pkt Maggi onion soup mix

1 finely chopped onion

1 teaspoon mustard powder

 ¼ cup cream

Heat in microwave for 6 mins – stirring in between time, cool – spread lengthways onto long cut white bread from Marlow’s Bakery, South Dunedin. Roll into cheese rolls (3 folds).

Tickets are on sale now to all events in the seventh New Zealand International Science Festival and can be purchased online at  by phoning 0800 SCIFEST or visiting the ODT Festival Headquarters in Wall Street.


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