26 January 2015
Supermarkets of Mystery ~ Couldn't you go a Chiko Roll?
Written by Alison
I couldn't believe it when I saw them, tucked away on the top shelf of the freezer aisle. Next to the Ho Mai Yum Cha and the frozen puff pastry was a familiar sight, one that I hadn't seen in real life since last going to the local corner milk bar for a pine lime Splice and a packet of Twisties. The Chiko Roll.
Queue food flashback. There were posters of boobed up chicks with leather clad rears sitting astride motorbikes to attract sales. There was the mystery of what was actually inside them. There was the unhealthy fried fast food stigma. They burnt your mouth if you bit in too early, the end bit squeezed out into the bag and they left a smudge of fat and crumbs around your lips. Yes, the Chiko Roll was everything that was naughty to a teenager from the burbs. The tamer looking girl on the back of the pack zeros in on that flashback feeling.
The Chiko Roll was born in Wagga Wagga by a businessman from Bendigo over 60 years ago. Concieved as a pimped up Asian spring roll to eat one handed at the footy, the roll has been a staple of milk bars ever since. With the corner store chippie dying out and tastes changing, the Chiko Roll could have gone out with a deep fried fizz instead of a bang. But here it is in a take home pack of four memories, ready to fry and scoff in your own abode.
The pack even comes with four paper bags so you can really go the full milk bar experience. It's such a great touch.
There are four frozen rolls in the pack, each of a good size. You need to cook them from frozen for the best results.
The packet suggests either a shallow fry or a deep fry. I decide to go half way and do a semi deep fry in a wok.
They need to be turned a few times to get brown, taking about 15 minutes in all to cook.
At the end of the cooking, you can slip them into their bag and munch away with one hand.
It has always been a question as to what exactly goes into a Chiko Roll. Let's just say if you are gluten intolerent, vegetarian, sugar free or paleo loving then these guys aren't for you. There's a ton of wheat flour and cereal, barley, mostly cabbage (18%), beef (4.5%), carrots, celery, onion and green beans, some textured soy protein, salt, sugar, some chilli and the usual preservatives to keep the thing together.
The rolls are even great cold the next day, you can carry on the fatty food guilt trip for dinner and lunch if you cook the whole pack. They're filling little beasts, one was enough for me with some home made chips on the side.
A pack of four rolls was about $5.80 at Foodworks in Newtown. Not so bad considering the size of each roll and the fun factor and almost 1980's milk bar prices.