They’re celebrating and exploring the science of the cheese roll in Dunedin this month. I love cheese rolls, and reading about this makes me want to rush home and cook up a batch of these warming winter treats.
Winter food is all about comfort, warmth and sustenance. Soup is a great example of this (and a perfect food match to those cheese rolls!). All those great staple classics like lasagna, shepherds pie, macaroni cheese and casseroles come into their own at this time of the year.
For those from the southern end of New Zealand, the humble cheese roll is so much more than a tasty snack. It’s part of our heritage. It’s about memories of Grandma and family times. It’s about sharing with friends and social occasions. And for those north of the cheese roll divide, there are other food favourites which fulfill this role in life.
The powerful social role of food cannot be underestimated. Recently I read some consumer research showing that the majority of people prioritise good nutrition when choosing what to eat at home or in routine situations. But unsurprisingly when asked the same question in relation to times when they’re socialising or eating with friends, good nutrition became less of a priority.
When communicating about food and nutrition the power of food’s traditional social role in our lives cannot be underestimated. These messages mean very little if they fail to acknowledge people’s behaviour and feelings around food, especially in social settings. Excellent nutrition communication needs to provide ways and means of achieving the same warm fuzzy feelings around healthy eating.
And for those of you who’re dying to experience the magic of the Southland Cheese Roll to warm you up this winter, here’s a great recipe.