Chicken Scratch - 'The Parmo'

It has been a bit of a break between scratches, as far as I can tell we haven’t done one since September 2015, with the only other two being in May of the same year.

Anyway, for the newcomers, a Chicken Scratch post is a spot for stuff that isn’t a parma review. Might be a news article or a debate or a special event … basically a soapbox for me to rant about something chicken parma related for a few hundred words. If that sounds interesting then read on, if not I’ll catch you next week! (We’re going to a new Brewery down in the Docklands, I reckon it should be pretty decent).

While the Parma Vs Parmi debate rages on in our fair country, with the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews even weighing in on the topic, a new challenger has entered the scene.

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I introduce The Parmo.


Born and bred in Northern England (and sometimes referred to as the ‘Teeside Parmesan’ according to the Wikipedia page).

The Parmo has gained quite a cult following on the other side of the planet. Much like the Parma in Melbourne, in Northern England the Parmo has review sites, food trucks, plenty of media attention and even Geordie Shore’s Vicky Pattison tucked into one on a reality dating show.

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So what is a parmo and how does it differ from our beloved parma?

They’re very similar. Both start things off with a chicken schnitzel and cheese, however instead of a rich, tomatoey napoli sauce as we would use on a parma, the parmo swaps that out for béchamel sauce (aka white sauce), the stuff they put in lasagne that isn’t bolognaise.

According to the wiki, as with parmas, some novelty parmos have started appearing here and there, and are starting to blur the line between parmo and parma, for example…

  • Parmo hotshot - chicken or pork topped with cheese, pepperoni, peppers, garlic butter and chilli

  • Parmo Kiev - chicken only topped with cheese, garlic butter, and mushrooms

  • Parmo Italia - chicken or pork topped with cheese, garlic butter and ham, with a further topping of mozzarella cheese

  • Meat feast parmo - chicken or pork topped with pepperoni, chicken and ham


“But ParmaDaze” I hear you say “Northern England is so far away, I’ve never seen a parmo here in Australia!”

Well dear reader, it turns out that the parmo invasion has already begun with Queensland the first to fall, as the “Pig & Whistle” chain of English pubs have had a parmo quietly on their menu since 2004.

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“In 2004, ex-pat Trevor Harrington was a regular at our Pig ‘N’ Whistle Riverside venue” Eloise Pierce, of Pig ‘N’ Whistle owners The Mantle Group, explained to Teeside Live.

“The manager at the time Arj - now our CEO - was close with Trevor and Trevor shared his recipe. After a lot of to and fro-ing to perfect the recipe, it eventually became a permanent fixture on the menu at Riverside - and it has never come off.”

Between the seven Pig n’ Whistle’s in Queensland they claim to sell over 2000 parmos a month. Right under our noses this whole time!

Now I haven’t yet had the opportunity to try a Parmo. While in London earlier this year I tried to track one down without any luck and I’ve yet to find anywhere in Melbourne with a parmo on the menu (if you find one, let me know).

What are your thoughts? Comment below if you think a parmo would be worth a crack, if you know of anywhere in Melbourne that we can try one, or if they should be stricken from the face of the earth.


So remember, the next time you’re having a debate with your mate from Geelong over Parma or Parmi, the Parmo is quietly gaining popularity on the other side of the world. Teeside Live have even gone as far to claim that a “Parmo war is coming” between us and them.

Which side are you on?