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Toasties aiming to top them all


Cafes, food trucks, and RSAs have been taken over by toasties in the past few months, with ‘the nation’s premier toasted sandwich contest’ back for a fifth year. TOM TAYLOR bites into some of the region’s tantalising creations.

Five Wairarapa hospitality businesses are participating in this round of The Great New Zealand Toastie Takeover, which began on April 13.

They join 180 other competitors across the nation in the quest to be crowned king of the toastie.

The rules are simple: Toasties must be sandwiched between two slices of bread, able to be eaten by hand, and include cheese or a vegan substitute. Pickles from the competition sponsor McClure’s Pickles are also a must – though that’s not a problem according to some of Wairarapa’s entries.

Finalists of six regions throughout New Zealand are made known on June 22, with the supreme winner unveiled on July 27.

Hawaiian Pulled Pork

Ten O’clock Cookie

Manager Monique Kloeg enters the Toastie Takeover for the third year running after making the regional finals in 2020.

Kloeg has two controversial mantras in life: “Don’t trust anyone that doesn’t like a pickle”, and “pizza should have pineapple on it”.

She puts these mantras to use in this year’s entry, a slow-cooked pulled pork toastie with fresh pineapple, pickles, tomato, red onion, and lots of cheese.

“We wanted to create a crowd-pleaser – something that people see on the menu and decide, ‘I’m going to try that’.”

Ingredients: BBQ pulled pork, McClure’s Sweet and Spicy pickles, pineapple, tomato salsa, and cheese in three layers of house-made white bread. Price: $12.50

Beef Greytown

The Offering Greytown

Greytown’s The Offering owner Bevan Morland enters the competition for the third year running.

“It’s a lot of fun. I wish more people would jump into it.”

The cafe’s “Beef Greytown” takes a twist on a classic Beef Wellington.

The sandwich is oozing with filling, including a homemade four-cheese blend.

A rump beef is smoked for up to 18 hours, pulled apart, and mixed with chipotle BBQ sauce.

“It comes out like an awesome steak and cheese pie.”

Morland says the toastie has been “super popular”, with more than 500 already sold.

Ingredients: Four-cheese blend; spread of Parkvale mushrooms, onion, baby spinach, thyme, and parsley; French mustard; pulled hot smoked rump beef with a chipotle BBQ sauce; McClure’s pickles; white cheese sauce; toasted marble rye. Price: $19

The Italian Job

The Offering Masterton Food Truck

The Offering’s second offering, from its Masterton-based food truck, has also been a hit with customers.

With pepperoni, chorizo, ham, and cheese, “it’s like a pizza in a toastie,” Morland says.

He says half the fun of the competition is naming the products.

“You want people to be entertained when they come out, so we’ve gone for quirky names.”

A good toastie, according to Morland, is packed with flavour, which is then compressed to make for an intense mouthful.

Ingredients: Four-cheese blend, pepperoni, chorizo, ham, McClure’s pickles, house-made relish, basil pesto, toasted marble rye. Price: $12

Jamaican’ Me Hungry

Korky’s Catering

As a business established earlier this year, Korky’s Catering decided to enter the Toastie Takeover to gain more exposure.

Chef KJ Liddle says her toastie is Jamaican jerk-inspired but with some wintry New Zealand ingredients to balance it out.

“I wanted to do something that was a nod to what’s seasonal and Kiwi as well, so there’s a quince chutney in there.

The bread, a freshly baked white tin loaf, comes from The Old Bakehouse in Masterton.

As well as pickles inside the toastie, a butter infused with finely chopped McClure’s pickles coats the outside of the bread before toasting.

“It’s all about the pickles, so I wanted to try to use it twice in the toastie if we could.”

Ingredients: Slow-cooked jerk ham hock, quince chutney, cheese, McClure’s Sweet and Spicy pickles, white bread toasted with McClure’s pickle butter. Price: $14


Baloo’s on Broadway

Baloo’s on Broadway, one of Carterton’s newest restaurants, is entering the Toastie Takeover to make a name for themselves.

And as the only Returned and Services’ Association [RSA] competing, Baloo’s gets a special mention from the competition organisers.

Chef Brad Weemes says he wanted to create a toastie directly related to the business.

To that effect, he incorporates Anzac symbolism with a poppy seed bread from Carterton cafe Wild Oats and World War I rations with corned beef.

Front-of-house manager Toni Cathie says the toastie has been a hit, with many return customers.

“We have a couple who have come in to have it every Monday night since the competition started.”

Ingredients: Corn beef hash, pickled tomato relish, smoked cheese, McClure’s pickles, toasted poppy seed bread. Price: $12; $15 with fries



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