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Local toastie gets the nod

Chef Sophie Couper, left, and apprentice Eddie Lockyer with a pulled pork ‘gangster’ toastie. PHOTO/KAREN COLTMAN

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Brainstorming in the kitchen with some sliced bread, lots of cheese, and a toasted sandwich press resulted in a Masterton cafe making the final of the Great New Zealand Toastie Takeover 2020 competition.

Ten O’clock Cookie Bakery and Cafe chef Sophie Couper set about the task of creating a winning toastie with bakery owner Monique Kloeg.

Their creation was deemed by judges a top 12 New Zealand toastie, and would progress to the final next month [covid-19 permitting].

During the initial judging last month, 20 assessors examined the entrants, while 80 eateries served up a phenomenal 20,000 cheese toasties.

Head judge Kerry Tyack said she was, “wowed by the innovation being shown and the effort put into producing exciting, mouth-watering toasties”.

“Well done, New Zealand. Your toastie entries have brought joy to many of us at a time when a few simple pleasures are much needed.”

Kloeg said she got into the idea of a huge ‘gangster-style’ toastie when she visited the Tartine Bakery in San Francisco.

The Masterton bakery entry was the ‘Sweet and Spicy Pork Toastie’.

The pork is spiced and cooked slowly for 15 hours, then placed between home-made artisan bread along with fresh pineapple, gooey cheese, and crunchy red onion.

Kloeg said the bread used was their seven grain bread sliced thickly.

There were some “secret” ingredients, but it was the combination that made it a winner.

Couper said there was a dash of coriander to give it “zing” along with the pickles so that it didn’t taste too sweet.

The judges said, “the pulled pork filling was delicious with perfect balance of flavour – hint of star anise in cooking of pork. Perfect amount of spice and acidity from the pickles, pineapple adding a small amount of sweetness and the red onions extra crunch. Pickles gave the sandwich its edge. Toasted bread exceptional”.

Competition criteria were that the toastie had to be able to be eaten by hand, and it must have cheese. It also must have the sponsor’s pickles – McClure Pickles.

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