Humble history

THE Chiko Roll was developed by Frank McEncroe, a boilermaker from Bendigo, who turned to catering at football matches and other outdoor events. 

Mr McEncroe, in 1950, saw a competitor selling Chinese chop suey rolls outside Richmond Cricket Ground and decided to add a similar product to his own line. 

However, Mr McEncroe felt that the Chinese rolls were too flimsy to be easily handled in an informal outdoor setting.

He 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.

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.

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.

Nowra Oasis Takeaway reports they still sell “loads” of Chikos.

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