There’s no denying that winter is now well and truly upon us, but rather than focus on how damn cold we are, it’s time for some deliciously pickly and cheesy news.
Friends rejoice, it’s that time of year again where chefs up and down the country cook up their tastiest take on the classic toastie and enter into the Great New Zealand Toastie Takeover. While we, the hungry hoard, get ready to try their concoctions, the finalists in the competition have just been announced. Now as the extremely lucky (or cursed, depending on your view) toast-master royale visits all 12 finalists to sample their entries, we the hungry hoard, get to eat our fill. Toastie road trip anyone?
The rules are simple, the toastie must include McClure’s Pickles and cheese and be sandwiched between the all-important two slices of bread. Feast your eyes on the entrants below and see how many you can tick off the list. The finalists hail from Auckland (three), Tairua, Mount Maunganui, Hastings, Clareville, Wellington, Picton, Blenheim and two from Dunedin, and have been chosen from a pool of more than 120 delicious entries nationwide. Last year’s Supreme Winner from Dunedin’s Hungry Hobos is in the running for the title once again, the competition’s heating up!
The supreme winner of the Great New Zealand Toastie Takeover will be announced on Friday July 30 and will walk away with a year’s worth of pickles, dine-in vouchers, a toastie trophy, and the well-deserved reputation for the best toasted sandwich in the country.
So! On to the list of finalists, and may the best toastie win.
AUCKLAND / NORTHLAND
Churly’s Brew Pub (Mt Eden): Southern Swine - Smoked ham hock rillette, house made pimento cheese, McClure's Sweet & Spicy Pickles, garlic aioli, zesty ranch dressing. Served with house made BBQ crisps.
The Daily Goods (Pukekohe): The Smoky Loaf - Bacon wrapped meatloaf, shaved and toasted with McClure’s pickles, three cheeses and smoked garlic mayo on sourdough.
The Occidental (Auckland CBD): "BRT" Beef Rendang Toastie - Indonesian style rendang, Emmental cheese, McClure's Sweet & Spicy Pickles, served on toasted brioche with prawn crackers.
WAIKATO / BAY OF PLENTY / COROMANDEL / ROTORUA
Johnny's Tairua (Tairua): Tairua Time - 100 grams NZ Wagyu beef, McClure's Sweet & Spicy pickles, caramelised red onion, Swiss gruyere cheese, house-made Johnny mac sauce, Old Yella Habanero mustard on brioche bread.
Fire Restaurant (Mount Maunganui): White as Snow - Slow roasted, korma spiced merino lamb shoulder, McClure's Spicy Pickle Spears, American cheese, curry leaf, kasoori, and spiced buffalo curd.
CENTRAL NORTH ISLAND
Black Betty BBQ (Hastings): The Cornstar - Betty's Jalapeño Cornbread toast with 8-hour smoked black Angus brisket, McClure's Pickles, caramelised onion and cheddar sauce.
The Clareville Bakery (Clareville): Good-bye, Pork Pie! Toastie Takeover! Oh My! - Local free-range pulled pork, McClure’s Sweet & Spicy pickles, Swiss cheese, hoisin special sauce, and house-made kimchi sandwiched between two slices of locally grown durum wheat, sesame and McClure’s Pickle sourdough bread.
Wilson Barbecue (Wellington): The Spicy Smash - 100g brisket smash patty, blue cheese, sliced jalapeños, caramelised onion, McClure's Sweet & Spicy Pickles, mayo and American cheese sandwiched between two perfectly golden slices of German sourdough.
UPPER SOUTH ISLAND
Mollies Bar and Eatery (Hotel d’Urville, Blenheim): Mo Jo Pork Cuban with a Twist! - Slow roasted pork belly, provolone, chimichurri, American mustard, McClure's Pickles with apple chilli gel on toasted sourdough with kumara crisps.
Toastie Picton (Picton): Pete from Picton - Marlborough salmon, Pete’s legendary cream cheese flavoured with lemon, dill & capers, McClure’s Pickles, parmesan garnish.
LOWER SOUTH ISLAND
Hungry Hobos (Dunedin): Sweet & Spicy Pulled Carrot - Slow-cooked pulled carrots in peanut butter BBQ sauce, layered with aged cheddar and McClure's Sweet & Spicy pickles, grilled in herb buttered ciabatta. (Vege).
Morning Magpie (Dunedin): Miso Mushroom - Miso mayo, house walnut pesto, pepper rocket, miso portobello mushrooms, house kimchi and McClure's Sweet & Spicy Pickles on pan-fried organic sourdough. (Vegan).