Last week Member for Riverina Michael McCormack took a strong stance regarding the ownership of the Chiko Roll. It appears Bendigo is trying to claim the battered stick of goodness as its own, while Michael argues strongly that the Chiko Roll debuted in 1951 at the Wagga Show. A petition has been launched to set the record straight.
The petition seeks official recognition by the Federal Government. It implores the Federal Government to formally acknowledge that the cultural icon originated in Wagga. It reads:
“In 1951, the nation's first ever Chiko Roll was sold at the Wagga Show. A cultural icon was born. But despite Wagga's undeniable claim as the home of the battered snack (we were awarded a coveted Golden Chiko in 2001), the Victorian city of Bendigo has declared a fast food war, claiming Chiko bragging rights. We can't let this happen, we won't let this happen.”
The story has also been getting traction in mainstream media, with The Daily Advertiser in Wagga running an article on the front page – see here. The Land shortly after followed suit – see here. In addition to the support given from the Member for Riverina, the Wagga Mayor, Cr Rod Kendall, has also spoken out against Bendigo’s call to claim the Chiko saying “the home of the Chiko Roll is obviously where it was first sold and embraced by the people.”
Wagga Wagga also received official recognition as the birth-place of the savoury snack in 2001 when a Golden Chiko Roll was presented to Wagga Wagga City Council, marking fifty years since the first savoury snack was publicly consumed. But, Victorian Labor MP Lisa Chesters is fighting back, arguing that because the packaging states the product was born in Bendigo and first produced in Bendigo, it should hold claim to the wonder of the deep fried world.
What do you think? Is Wagga the rightful home of the Chiko Roll? If you think it is, get on board this battered bandwagon and sign the petition here.