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18th January 2022

The humble toastie gets an upgrade, says Waitrose

With even Gwyneth Paltrow joining the rest of us and embracing bread this year, the latest comfort food to get a gourmet makeover is the humble cheese toastie, according to figures from Waitrose.
 
With many of us still home working, the humble toastie has undergone a gourmet transformation with people looking to add a twist to a home comfort classic – monthly views of Waitrose’s top toastie hub are up 669%. But while some home workers are opting for the classic Grilled cheese sandwich (up 29%), many are adding a touch of gourmet to their toastie by choosing different types of cheeses, vegetables, relishes and herbs. John Lewis also reports toastie makers are up 43% YOY.
 
Popular recipes include the Gammon and cheese toasties with chilli pineapple relish – with views up 300% month on month, while the Gruyère, fig and thyme toasties (+57%) and Mushroom, cavolo and blue cheese toasties (+193%) are also popular.
 
Even high end restaurants are bringing back their twist on the toastie. Vivek Singh, the executive chef at The Cinnamon Collection, suggests adding diced cooked chicken tikka and green coriander chutney as part of his Chicken Tikka Cheese Toastie, while Avinash Shashidhara, head chef at Pali Hill,  upgrades his Ham and Cheese Toastie with prosciutto, fontina and Worcestershire sauce, and Keri Astill-Frew, head chef and owner of V Dorset, adds chorizo, gruyere and watercress for her Chorizo, Cheese and Watercress Toastie.
 
Zoe Simons, Development Chef at Waitrose comments: “The humble cheese toastie can often be underrated but it is perfect for a quick work from home lunch or comforting midweek meal. While customers can keep it simple with a classic cheddar cheese toastie, there are so many exciting and innovative ways to upgrade. Lifting classic flavours with quality ingredients can elevate the everyday lunch favourite to something really delicious. My favourite is either ‘nduja, burrata, Milano salami and rocket, or cheddar, kimchi, mozzarella and tahini.”

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