Sunday History Photo / Au

Submitted: Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 04:57
ThreadID: 102291 Views:27406 Replies:7 FollowUps:2
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The Chiko Roll is an Australian savoury snack, inspired by the Chinese egg roll and spring rolls. It was designed to be easily eaten on the move without a plate or cutlery. The Chiko roll consists of beef, celery, cabbage, barley, carrot, corn, onion, green beans, and spices in a tube of egg, flour and dough which is then deep-fried. The wrap was designed to be unusually thick so it would survive handling at football matches. It was originally modelled on an Asian competitor's Chop Suey Roll. At the peak of their popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, At the height of their popularity in the 1970s, 40 million Chiko Rolls were being sold Australia-wide each year and more than one million were exported to Japan and the product has been described as an Australian cultural icon.

The Chiko Roll was developed by Frank McEncroe, a boilermaker from Bendigo who turned to catering at football matches and other outdoor events. In 1950, McEncroe saw a competitor selling Chinese chop suey rolls outside Richmond Cricket Ground and decided to add a similar product to his own line. McEncroe felt that the Chinese rolls were too flimsy to be easily handled in an informal outdoor setting, and hit upon the idea of a much larger and more robust roll that would provide a quick meal that was both reasonably substantial and easily handled. The result was the Chiko Roll, which debuted at the Wagga Wagga Agriculture Show in 1951.

In the 1960s, McEncroe moved to Melbourne with his family where he began to manufacture the rolls with the help of a sausage machine. As the product became more popular, McEncroe moved to a larger factory with more modern equipment in North Essendon and later merged with a local company called Floyd's Iceworks to form Frozen Food Industries Pty Ltd. The new company went public in 1963. By 1965, most Australian takeaway restaurants and fish and chip shops carried Chiko Rolls, with the marketing slogan 'Grab a Chiko' signifying the ease with which shop owners could take a Chiko Roll from the freezer and pop it into a fryer and slide it into its own trade mark bag.
Increasing competition in the Australian takeaway food market in recent decades has seen a decline in the profile of the Chiko Roll, but they are still widely available at fish and chips shops and supermarkets across Australia.

Since the 1950s, Chiko Rolls have been advertised by an iconic "girl on a motorbike" (also known as the "Chiko Chick") theme. The accompanying slogans were "Dollar for dollar, ounce for ounce, the 1955 Chiko Roll still reigns supreme" and "Couldn't you go a Chiko Roll?". During the early 1980s, the accompanying slogan for Chiko roll was "You can't knock the roll". The company subsequently indicated a desire to promote the product using a more wholesome, "girl next door" image. On 17 July 2008, the new advertising poster was unveiled at the Wagga Wagga Showgrounds featuring Annette Melton as the new face.

To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Chiko Roll, the current manufacturer, Simplot, presented the cities of Bendigo and Wagga with gold plated Chiko Roll replicas.

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Reply By: gbc - Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 06:32

Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 06:32
A ride on the deadly treadly down town just wasnt complete without a chiko and a serve of chips (20c).
AnswerID: 511351

Reply By: landed eagle - Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 08:21

Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 08:21
Thx Doug, haven't had a chiko for a while, now first thing Sunday morning I feel like one. Might find one for lunch at the local f/chip shop methinks.
AnswerID: 511360

Follow Up By: Off-track - Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 21:26

Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 21:26
Just beware though, it's a long way to the shop if you want a Chiko roll!
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Reply By: Life Member - Phil B (WA) - Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 08:22

Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 08:22
The Old Chiko Roll, brings back memories.

Another most interesting story Doug, thanks for sharing.

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Reply By: Member - Charlie M (SA) - Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 08:46

Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 08:46
Very good Doug
I still have one most weeks if it is a quick takeaway while working on the run.
AnswerID: 511364

Reply By: Fred G NSW - Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 08:49

Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 08:49
Can't think of a better item of wholesome tucker to have on the move while behind the wheel.

Fed a lot of truckies all over Oz I reckon aye Doug :-)

Good one mate. How's the Mountain air after Adelaide River?

AnswerID: 511365

Follow Up By: Life Member-Doug T NSW - Monday, May 20, 2013 at 09:17

Monday, May 20, 2013 at 09:17
Mountain air is getting a bit cold now and will get colder as we get into winter, yes I miss AR and the warm weather but life goes on.

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Reply By: greybeard - Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 11:59

Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 11:59
A couple of years ago Myf Warhurst did an episode of a show called 'Nice' that featured an interview with the son of Frank McEnroe and the original 'Chico roll girl'
AnswerID: 511373

Reply By: Member - Wamuranman - Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 13:09

Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 13:09
I like my 2013 Chico Roll Calendar.
I have enjoyed spending May with Nevena!

AnswerID: 511377

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