31 July 2019
Finalists named in search for New Zealand’s top toasted sandwich
With the first round of judging complete in the annual Great New Zealand Toastie Takeover, one thing’s clear: the competition behind those sandwich grills is fierce.
Now in its second year, this popular celebration of the not-so-humble toasted sandwich has introduced a compet
A massive 10,000 toasties have been served up over July, with the participating eateries vying for a spot in the competition’s final round.
Now, those 13 finalists have been announced in a group made up of two finalists per region (with the exception of Auckland, where there was a tie for points during judging).
The competition criteria requires sandwiches to be toasted between two slices of bread and able to be eaten by hand. The toasties also need to contain cheese and McClure’s pickles, with all the other ingredients entirely up to the entrant’s imagination.
And a glance through the finalists confirms the imaginative Kiwi take on this beloved snack knows no bounds. And the finalists are:
Luncheonette by Culprit – Macaroni and Brisket Burnt End with McClure’s Pickle Toastie.
Fed Deli – Pastrami ‘n’ Swiss Melt – A toasted hot dog bun with pastrami, Russian dressing, McClure’s Pickle Spear and Swiss cheese.
The Apothecary – “Dagwood” Reuben sandwich.
WAIKATO / BAY OF PLENTY
The General (Mount Maunganui) – A toastie featuring Golden Harvest Organic Sourdough and packed with all kinds of goodies, including 12-hour braised beef brisket and McClure’s Sweet and Spicy Pickles.
Hayes Common (Hamilton) – Ol’ Smoky – The toastie that almost got away – Smoked kahawai, creamy mustard béchamel, smoked and vintage Meyer cheeses, McClure’s Sweet and Spicy Pickles, hot sauce, potato sourdough and a fried pickle.
CENTRAL NORTH ISLAND
The Federal Store Cafe & Deli (New Plymouth) – 12-hour slow-cooked corned beef with sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, pickles and dressing on toasted, herb-buttered dark rye.
Replete Café (Taupo) – Kiwi Cuban – Ham, pulled pork, McClure’s Pickles, habanero mustard and Swiss cheese on Vogel’s bread.
Goods Manufactory and Café – Roasted cauliflower, garlic kale, Taleggio and McClure’s Spicy Pickles.
Park Kitchen – PK’s Tuna Melt – Tuna, mozzarella, spicy sliced pickles, red onion, garlic aioli and fresh basil on brioche.
Joe’s Garage Riccarton – Pulled lamb shoulder and Havarti cheese toastie.
Otto Delicatessen – The French Dip – Provolone, cheddar, onion and mustard aioli with McClure’s Pickles, hot beef jus and potato crisps.
SOUTH ISLAND (Excluding Christchurch)
The Hokitika Sandwich Company (Hokitika) – The Detroit – Corned beef, sweet and spicy McClure’s pickles, red onion, Havarti cheese, house-made special sauce, mixed greens served on toasted ciabatta.
Vines Village Café (Marlborough) – Little River Duck Toastie – Slow roasted aromatic duck with Sweet & Spicy McClure’s Pickles, Sour Cherry, Little River (Nelson) Cumulus A2 cheese and caramelised onion on crusty white bread.
Head judge Kerry Tyack says New Zealand’s love affair with toasted sandwiches shows no sign of abating – and fans of the snack have been in for a real treat during the Great Toastie Takeover.
“Cooks have become more adventurous. No longer is it sufficient to slap slabs of cheddar and ham between slices of white bread,” he says. “Artisan breads, piquant pickles and richly braised meats are all being carefully compiled to create exotic treasure troves of taste.
“Consumers are also more discerning and demanding a high standard of toastie preparation. Out is the fatty, greasy, under-seasoned stodge of old and in is the artfully layered, beautifully presented and multi-textural sandwich, especially one that pays homage to local and regional produce.
“The Kiwi toastie is no longer simply comfort food – it’s become a thing of culinary art.”
The final round of judging will also see Joe McClure of McClure’s Pickles in Detroit hitting New Zealand to taste the finalists’ creations – and he’s looking forward to sampling their efforts.
All 13 finalists’ toasties look incredible,” he says. “It’s great to see how our pickles have been used in each sandwich and have been combined with such amazing flavours. I can’t wait to come over and try them all and also to see some of New Zealand’s spectacular scenery while I’m on the road.”
Each toastie will again be judged on presentation, effectiveness of preparation technique, eatability, taste, innovation and originality, with the nation’s top toasted sandwich set to be revealed on Monday, August 26.