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The Great Chiko Roll Debate!

Picture sourced from SBS

It’s an age-old debate that has severed ties between two Australian towns.

Well, maybe I’m being a bit dramatic, but the debate over which regional town has ownership over the beloved the Chiko Roll has been going on since the 1950s, when it was created.

Boilermaker turned footy caterer Frank McEnroe created the Chiko in 1950 after he noticed a competitor selling Chinese chop suey rolls outside the Richmond Football Ground. He thought the rolls were too flimsy to be eaten in such an informal outdoor setting, so he added the sturdier Chiko to his repertoire of snacks. A Bendigo man, he cooked up the idea at home but test drove the product for the first time at the Wagga Wagga Agricultural Show.

This is where the debate begins! Invented in Bendigo but debuted in Wagga Wagga. Both towns deserve the right to declare ownership but who is the rightful claimant?

The debate really heated up in 2016 in a Parliamentary debate between Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters and Member for the Riverina (and now Deputy Prime Minister) Michael McCormack. Both were adamant that the snack belonged to their town. Chiko has since sent a gold plated Chiko Roll to both towns.

What does Chiko have to say about the argument? Well, in 2016 a spokesperson for Chiko acknowledged both towns (as well as Coburg, Melbourne and New South Wales town Bathurst, where the snack has been manufactured) but as a classic friend friend of the nation, the Chiko Roll belongs to Australia.

What do you think? Is the Chiko from Bendigo or Wagga



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