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Science festival seeks ‘ultimate’ cheese roll

MEDIA RELEASE  – Tuesday 1 June 2010

Science festival seeks ‘ultimate’ southern cheese roll

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

Cheese roll lovers in the Deep South are being urged to reveal the secret of the ‘ultimate’ southern cheese roll – far superior to its northern counterpart – in a fun competition. The competition is being run as part of the 2010 New Zealand International Science Festival, to be held in Dunedin. An expert panel of judges has been selected to explore the ‘science’ of the cheese roll. Entries close 5pm on Friday 25 June 2010.

Once you start asking people what makes a good southern cheese roll, be ready for a heated debate. It seems everyone has their own fond memories of what makes the perfect toasted cheese roll.

Our great southern cheese roll is at risk of being replaced by the inferior northern version. Science is being called upon to help find the ‘ultimate’ southern cheese roll.


Associate Director, Chris Green said the festival is not only providing ‘food for thought’ – it’s about discovering what makes the ultimate cheese roll and the part science plays in the process.

“Now is the time to rise to the challenge – we need you to ask your granny, friends, or colleagues to step up to the mark. Entrants will need to make 6 cheese rolls, freeze them and bring them into the festival office for judging.”

An expert panel of judges, including 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 has been appointed. The judges will give all cheese rolls submitted a comprehensive “grilling”, including examining factors such as taste, texture, appearance and the all-important “ooze factor”. The winning cheese roll will be scrutinized by the University of Otago Food Science team who will explain what makes it the ultimate taste sensation.

There are great prizes up for grabs, including the honour of being crowned maker of the finest southern cheese roll!

And in light of the cheese roll’s status as a fundraiser, the winner gets to choose a group or charity that will benefit from the competition. MOJO cafe in Wall Street Mall, Dunedin, will make and sell cheese rolls

based on the winning recipe during the week of the festival, with all profits going to the organisation chosen.

A number of entertaining workshops based on the ‘science of....’ will also feature during the festival. From the ‘science of curry’ to the ‘science of beer’, these sessions promise a journey of discovery and a great night out.  Other workshops include the ‘science of seafood’ (to be held at Pier 24 with renowned chef Michael Coughlin) and the ‘science of winemaking’ with Rudi Bauer, New Zealand winemaker of the year.

Full details on the competition and ‘science of’ events can be found on the festival website,

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


© Scoop Media

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