Many, many years ago (let’s say twenty, at least) when I was still in primary school, my family lived in Kenridge, Cape Town. There was a small shopping centre just down the road which contained the bare basics, such as a video store, chemist, estate agent, as well as a Seven 11. It was here, in this tiny little cafe that the world’s greatest cheese rolls were baked. One day they vanished.
I still salivate over these specific baked good, because no substitute has ever come close to them. The rolls were standard hamburger buns and were covered in a layer of gorgeous cheese that went delightfully crispy when baked in the Seven 11’s ovens.
To top it off, the rolls were baked fresh each and every day. There were available loose of in a compacted six-pack of smaller proportions. I remember often picking them up and stuffing the cheese rolls with either ham and tomato for lunch or boneless pork ribs for supper — the latter is something that makes me drool even as I write this.
Another delicacy was the bakery’s cheese and onion load. With a height of around 10cm and a diameter of 30cm, this heavenly baked treat had cheese and onion baked into it, as well as a thick layer of cheese topping. A friend of mine and I would often purchase it when he slept over, munching away at the loaf while we played video games into the early hours of the mornings.
As far as I can remember (and have yet to find any other information) the head baker at the Kenridge Seven 11 left, but no one could really say why. It’s a pity that I couldn’t have those rolls anymore, but I hope he moved on to fantastic things with his culinary talent.
Since then, I’ve yet to find any cheese rolls or loaves that event come remotely close. The majority of the competition will have a few shavings of cheese on top, which is barely enough to cover a tenth of the baked goodness. Others will be coney rolls, which are far too hard for this kind of treat.
I many never again be able to taste those delectable cheese goodnesses, but at least I have the memory of them.
The feature image doesn’t come close to capturing how perfect those cheese rolls were.