Say cheese, and start baking

Timaru will soon write another chapter in its cheesy tale if district councillor Steve Wills has anything to do with it.

Wills is planning the ultimate cheese roll competition, with locals pitting their skills against each other to make the iconic savoury snack.

"People can register their interest with Port FM for the [July] cheese roll competition," he said.

"If you believe you have the best cheese rolls, get involved."

The competition comes on the back of a furore which erupted in Southland after The Herald published a story claiming Timaru had taken the cheese roll capital title off Southland.

There was then a public battle on TV3's Campbell Live between Timaru Mayor Damon Odey and his Invercargill counterpart Tim Shadbolt.

Odey and Timaru were declared the winners on the show, but Southlanders have not taken that lying down.

Wills said there would be two categories in the competition - one in which individuals competed against each other, and another for businesses.

After the best local cheese rolls had been decided, it would be time to go into battle with Southland.

He believed South Canterbury would take out the title because of its people's attitude.

"Timaru people are full of fun and don't take things too seriously, like those southerners."

Southland has been unable to produce the numbers to reclaim its cheese roll title but Shadbolt says it is coming for South Canterbury with the goods. Shadbolt threw down the gauntlet last week and said he was seeking retribution after his televised failure.

"I had never made cheese rolls before. I thought ‘it can't be that hard'. Everybody deserves a second chance," he said.

Shadbolt said Stadium Southland was in debt by $5 million, so he thought a competition between the two provinces would be a good fundraiser for that cause.

He would also like to go head to head with Odey and said he would round up a few more troops for a car ride north.

The Timaru Herald