Roll up, roll up: it’s election time

by | Sep 14, 2023 | Opinion

Big news this week as Edmonds, the backbone of Kiwiana baking, took a slump at the supermarket, announcing they were deleting their frozen pastry range, just as Labour slumped in the polls. Quite the coincidence as Chris Hipkins happily devours flaky sausage rolls by the plateful – he may be oblivious that tastes are changing amongst everyday New Zealanders?

Has the humble sausage roll that once satisfied everyone and could be found at school tuck shops, corner dairies, and even cocktail events fallen victim to the cost-of-living crisis?  Edmonds seems to think the rising costs have lost their puff, making it too hard to make a crust from pastry.

So we asked the question, ‘could sausage rolls be next?

Perhaps we are no longer satisfied with the generic sausage meat wrapped in pastry and hanker for something better?  As I ponder the fate of the good old Kiwi sausage roll, I can’t help but compare them to our political parties.

Labour is the sausage roll we all grew up with.  It’s familiar, accessible, and affordable to all.  It always tastes better with a big squirt of bright red tomato sauce to hide any imperfections.  And yes, it will probably leave a big greasy mess on the bag it came it reminding you that it’s not entirely good for us and we are likely to pay for it at some stage.

National on the other hand is a chicken and cranberry sausage roll.  You’ll find these menu items more popular in certain neighbourhoods than others. A fair few of those who enjoy the Labour sausage can sometimes be persuaded to change flavour.

At first glance this sausage roll doesn’t look too dissimilar to the Labour version.  But look closer and you will find the meat is chicken.  I agree chicken doesn’t taste very different to pork.  Like pork it is very adaptable and appeals to the majority, but currently chicken is Kiwi’s most popular meat.

One of the advantages of chicken is its feed conversion rate which is less than 1.4kgs of feed per 1kg of meat produced making it one of the most efficient meat available.  While some chickens live great lives I think we all know that to satisfy the countries demand for chicken there are many of these poor animals that live very sad lives.

Mixed in with the National chicken sausage are some cranberries.  The fact they are pink must not be lost on us.  These tart berries that have been sweetened to make them palatable add a bougie element to the sausage roll, highlighting that even sausage rolls can be elevated- even if this means we have to import the ingredients!

The ACT sausage roll is in fact a pork and fennel sausage.  Afterall who needs that warm, comforting pastry wrapped around you?  The pork sausage may not be controversial, but those fennel seeds can be polarising!

The NZ Greens party are most definitely a Spanakopita roll.  That’s right they’re not truly a sausage roll but they will try their best.  Most crucially their green, vegetarian filling is wrapped in filo pastry.  And like the Greens, Filo pastry always seems like a great idea, it even works well overseas, but in reality, it is hard to make by hand.  Even the store-bought stuff is fiddly to use.  Then when one goes to eat it, it flakes everywhere, leaving a real mess.

Te Pāti Māori are a hōtiti pukapuka.  Most of New Zealand don’t know what that is and a certain section of the country aren’t even interested in finding out to see if they may enjoy it.

NZ First have to be a potato top pie!  That’s right most definitely not a sausage roll and hopefully not in the race! Just plenty of huff and bluff as Winston keeping blowing! Instead of making that pie edible and appealing to bite into, he may have simply blown it.

Finally it’s the NZ Loyal party, most definitely Apple strudel as they are completely fruity!

About the Author

Vicki Ravlich-Horan

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