Chiko Roll: definitely an Australian cultural icon

The humble Chiko roll has again been in the limelight the past week since three MPs including Andrew Gee claimed in federal parliament their electorate was the home of the savoury snack.

Bathurst hasn’t got much, if anything, over Orange, but our neighbour can boast Simplot makes the rolls there while boilermaker Francis McEnroe invented them in Bendigo and sold the first batch at the Wagga show. 

McEnroe wanted to create a new snack that could be eaten with one hand at shows and football games, serving them up in a neatly fitting paper bag so they didn’t drip filling down your front.

The rolls are mainly cabbage and barley as well as carrot, green beans, beef, beef tallow, wheat cereal, celery and onion all partially pulped and enclosed in a thick egg and flour pastry tube.

But Chiko marketing has undergone big changes in the past few years. 

None of the latest talk has pointed out colour advertising posters on fish and chip shop walls once featured raunchy-looking girls in revealing tight leather suits sitting on a Harley-Davidson with slogans like ‘You can’t knock the Roll’ or ‘Hit the Hot Spot’.

CHIKO ROLL: Jim Giameos of Stan’s Takeaway holds one of the Chiko motorcycle girl posters, now worth about $1,000 each.

CHIKO ROLL: Jim Giameos of Stan’s Takeaway holds one of the Chiko motorcycle girl posters, now worth about $1,000 each.

In the present look by Simplot supposedly to widen the appeal of the tasty snacks, the Harleys and the leather have gone and replaced initially by a young girl on a pushbike.

There are now new girls every 12 months.

This is the image Simplot thinks is appropriate and believes the previous Harley girl posters were a bit controversial although the snacks sold in their millions, with Stan’s Takeaway in Orange topping sales here.

The new look also includes an advertising campaign launched last month with a two-minute retro-styled jingle ‘Roll home with a Chiko’.

So it’s a far cry from the original Chiko era of Holden Sandman panel vans, Sherbet and the Skyhooks, discos, flared jeans and the drive-in. 

Is it all another victory for the politically correct or just keeping up with our so-called progressive times?    

Are RBT penalties ‘too tough’?

Reports this week that a country magistrate had infuriated police for going soft on drivers failing random breath tests said it was because it was tougher for country people to access public transport.

Former Orange magistrate Jan Stevenson a few years ago also raised a few eyebrows when she said mandatory penalties for driving offences were too tough on country people, particularly young people in areas where they needed licences to get to work.

Also a former deputy State Coroner, Ms Stevenson said she was not advocating breaches of the law but the answer was not what was happening with long disqualifications being handed out.

She said there used to be work licences. Country people who lost their licence generally lost their job. The work licences enabled them to drive to and from work for employment only.

But the government didn’t like it and said country magistrates were handing out too many of the licences so took them away.

Ms Stevenson reckoned the people who set the penalties and guideline judgments didn’t work in the country and probably never lived in the country. As a magistrate, you had to do your job without crushing people.

She really hit the nail on the head.​

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