Living in Australia, far away from my home of New Zealand (well, not that far, I suppose...), means that I have to adapt to cultural differences. Sometimes these are welcomed with open arms - there's a relaxed and leisurely attitude to life here which suits me fine. But other things I miss, especially certain foodstuffs.
And one of those that I miss is toasted cheese rolls. There is nothing I love better for a lunch time snack than this uniquely southern NZ treat. Spiced cheese melted in a roll of toasted thin sliced bread, and buttered. Yummmmmmm! (The image shown here is somewhat misleading - as they're burned rather badly. But otherwise this is a close match)
It has been many many years since I last had them, mostly because I've not visited home in so long, but also because I cannot buy the ingredients here - they just don't have any of them! Argh! I can't even order the ingredients from NZ, because the key one I'm really missing is fresh, thin sliced bread, and the bread here just isn't sliced very thinly! Not even the sandwich slice, which is basically the same thickness as toast slice back home (and then toast slice here is only minimally thicker, which means the only two cuts of bread available to me are almost exactly the same thickness, rendering the apparent singular distinguishing characteristic completely meaningless!) and I can't import it here, because there are health regulations preventing it! And anyway, then it wouldn't be fresh.
So all I can do is lament and think back fondly at what a delicious treat it is, and how I will grab some when I return home next. That is, if there are any tea rooms in Dunedin any more - I fear the worst there, last time I was there many of my favourite and most familiar shops and landmarks were missing. I've just heard hundreds of jobs are being lost as at least three of the biggest factories are closing down. The city of Dunedin is rapidly dying.
For my own records, and in case anyone reading this has the inclination to make some, here is a recipe for them that I found at another blog:
250g of grated cheddar cheese (mild or tasty)
1/2 375ml tin of Carnation evaporated milk
1/2 packet of Maggi onion soup mix
1 loaf of white thin sliced bread
Mix the cheese, evaporated milk, and soup mix, and place over a low heat until melted. Allow to cool a little - the mixture will thicken. Spread over one side of each slice of bread, then roll them up (ie, fold over the bottom third of the slice, then fold that double layer again onto the top third). Grill until toasted. Spread a sluice of butter on top. Enjoy!
Any excess rolls can be frozen.