Chiko roll born in Bendigo, says inventors’ family

The iconic Chiko roll was invented in Bendigo, not Bathurst, Wagga Wagga or Castlemaine, according to the family of its creators.

And as the ABC reports, the deep-fried combination of carrot, cabbage and meat was invented not by one man, as is commonly believed, but by three brothers Leo, Gerry and Frank McEncroe.

According to Leo’s daughter Jedda Noonan, Frank is usually given the credit because he was the one who took it to Melbourne and helped popularise it.

According to family members, the three brothers were working at a dairy factory in Bendigo when they came up with the roll.

Last week, controversy erupted in Canberra when NSW Nationals MP Andrew Gee said in his maiden speech that the Chiko Roll was made in Bathurst.

This did not go down well with everybody in the House. Nationals Member for Riverina Michael McCormack claimed Wagga Wagga as the Roll’s home, and Labor’s Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters said it is a product of that Victorian city.

And given that Frank McEnroe was born in Castlemaine, that Victorian city also had a claim on the product’s origins.

The connection with Wagga Wagga comes from the fact that the roll was first sold at the Wagga Wagga show in 1951. And, as Gee pointed out, it is currently made in Bathurst by Simplot.

But, according to the family of it makers, Bendigo is the place. Whether that puts an end to the controversy is yet to be seen.


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