Sprig + Fern Tahuna could soon be boasting the best toastie in the country – being named finalist in the 2023 Great NZ Toastie Takeover earlier this week brings them one step closer.
The competition, which has been underway since April, attracted 185 entries from throughout New Zealand. On Wednesday, these were whittled down to 14 finalists, with Sprig + Fern Tahuna the only representative from the top of the South Island.
The criteria for the Great NZ Toastie Takeover is simple enough, but rewards creativity. Participating sandwiches must be toasted between two slices of bread, contain cheese (or a vegan equivalent) and pickles from the competition’s naming right sponsor, McClure’s Pickles.
Their finalist-worthy submission? The Baabaa Ghanoush.
The Tahuna team combined house-smoked lamb shoulder, baba ghanoush hummus, rocket, Thor’s Hammer Manchego-style cheese, McClure’s Garlic & Dill Pickles and fresh hop aioli to create their submission to the annual compeititon – all packed between quinoa sourdough bread from local artisan baker, Don Rodrigo. The toastie is served with house cut, twice-cooked chips with rosemary, garlic, and Marlborough sea salt flake.
The winner of the competition will be announced on Tuesday 20 June. Those keen to give the Baabaa Ghanoush a try can do so at the Sprig + Fern Tahuna Tavern, for a limited time.
Off the back of a week of award-wins for Sprig + Fern’s range of beers, the Sprig + Fern Taverns have further carried the torch with a series of finalist announcements – Tahuna following in the footsteps of Berhampore, who were last week named finalist in the Lion Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence.