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Q&A: Five questions with True Gum co-founder Peter Juul Regnersgaard - Cook & Nelson

Q&A: Five questions with True Gum co-founder Peter Juul Regnersgaard

How did True Gum go from being an idea between university friends to an international brand challenging the chewing gum market to be more sustainable? True Gum co-founder Peter Juul Regnersgaard sits down to answer some commonly asked questions.   Q: What were you doing before you started this business? Peter: None of us at True Gum have previously been working with chewing gum or food or anything like that. Previously, we all came out of university here in Copenhagen but have no prior experience with building a food start-up like True Gum has become now. So our background is more traditional, working 9-5 and then suddenly we ventured into this True Gum business because we saw the possibility of doing a plastic-free product.   Q: What were the main challenges you faced developing this product? Peter: There we so many challenges developing this product since we produced everything ourselves. The list is so long. If you think it’s easy to make a chewing gum - it’s not [laughs].   Q: How do you get the super crunchy coating without adding sugar? Peter: As you know might know True Gum is 100% sugar free, that’s because we use zero calorie plant-based sweetners. And these sweetners we use on the inside are the ones we use for the coating.   Q: Where do you source the raw gum from? Peter: That’s a really great question. The big difference between True Gum and regular gum is that we are not using any artificial plastic base, but we are using real gum and tree sap. We are getting it from trees that grow in Central America, coming from different parts of that region. Also pretty important for me to highlight that this is extraction and harvesting is a sustainable process, no trees are cut down, no trees are killed. Actually it gives the local people an incentive to preserve the trees in the Central American rainforest and also gives them a source of income. So, it’s actually quite a good win-win situation. And everything is transported by boat so that’s how we’re getting it to Denmark.    Q: Do you think the sustainable approach will become more popular and will affect other fields? Peter: We think and hope that sustainable chewing gum and plastic free chewing gum will become increasingly popular in the future when we’re also able to make the distribution of true gum chewing gum wider making it even more easier for people to get hold of our plastic free alternative. And I think that some of these plastic free eco trends are obviously rolling across many different food and drinks categories and I think there is room for small players like True Gum to make a difference, and also hopefully inspire some of the bigger companies to start thinking more sustainably about how they produce their products and what ingredients they use.

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The Problem With Plastic In Chewing Gum - True Gum - Cook & Nelson

The Problem With Plastic In Chewing Gum - True Gum

A Sticky Situation...If you look at any street, chances are you’ll see these marks ...that’s chewing gum. Old chewing gum, and it’s probably been there for years. This gum is the second most common form of litter in the world...and generates around 100,000 tonnes of global waste a year.The microplastics from waste gum can reach the oceans, where sealife can consume it. That way, it makes its way into our food chain.The plastic polymers in this gum are the same as those found in car tyres and plastic bottles. That means the gum can’t biodegrade, so it sticks to our streets forever. We think our world deserves better. SO WHAT IS TRUE GUM DOING TO HELP? Goodbye plastics, hello plants! Well, True Gum are starting at the core, by going 100% plant-based, from their gum to their flavours. Plastic-free, eco-friendly packaging True Gum have also said a big NO THANKS to plastic packaging (the ones traditional gums use). Instead, they use cardboard boxes illustrated using inspiration from their natural ingredients.

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Finalists Found In Hunt For New Zealand's Top Toasted Sandwich

Finalists Found In Hunt For New Zealand's Top Toasted Sandwich

New Zealand is a step closer to discovering the best toasted sandwich in the land with the finalists in the 2023 Great NZ Toastie Takeover revealed. With a whopping 120,000 toasties served up since mid April and the battle for bragging rights heating up, the competition’s 185 entries have now been whittled down to 14 finalists from around the country. Hailing from Auckland, Rotorua, Hamilton, Tauranga, Havelock North, New Plymouth, Wellington, Christchurch, Nelson, Ashburton and Lumsden, this year’s finalists encompass beloved neighbourhood eateries and cafes, a coffee roaster, a diner, a burger bar, several breweries, a tavern and a beer garden. Last year’s Supreme Winner, chef Rich Johns from Rotorua’s Okere Falls Store is once again in the running for the top title with his tantalising toastie, The Pickle Back, but with fierce competition and another round of judging to go, it’s still anyone’s game, say competition organisers. Competition criteria requires participating eateries to create sandwiches that are toasted between two slices of bread and – like all self-respecting toasties – able to be eaten by hand. All toasties also need to contain cheese (or a vegan substitute) and McClure’s Pickles, with all the other ingredients entirely up to the entrants’ imaginations. And what imaginations they have. Proteins on show amongst this year’s finalists include whiskey BBQ glazed smoked brisket, smoked eel, aged beef, ham hock, house-smoked lamb shoulder, lamb pastrami and gabagool (an Italian cured meat), slow roasted beef and Southland lamb. A number have also made inventive use of the McClure’s Pickles range, with a pickle brine sourdough on offer, alongside a pickle brine shot, pickle brine cure, pickle jelly, pickle juice gel and pickle caviar. Delicious cheese blends feature, while some finalists have chosen to extend the toastie experience with Japanese togarishi spiced spud skins and twice cooked chips seasoned with rosemary and garlic sea salt, and tempting dippers like French onion dipping sauce and housemade pickle hot sauce. Head judge Kerry Tyack says this year’s entries have been top notch, presenting his team of 40-plus judges around the country with an extremely tough task. “The team assessed many, many standouts in this year’s entries, and right around the country they’ve been wowed by the innovation on show, the new and unexpected ingredients and flavour combinations, and the effort being put into producing exciting, mouth-watering toasties. “In all regions, scores were close, with many contenders up for the finalist spots. Those who are on the list, which has increased to 14 for the first time, represent the best of the best. “We’ve seen great results from experienced old hands, matched by equally successful offerings from new entrants, with upscale restaurants competing alongside sandwich specialists, breweries, diners, food caravans, cocktail bars, you name it. “Every year the standard improves, both in terms of creativity and eatability. But while creativity sets an entry apart, at the end of the day it has to be technically strong. “Overwhelmingly, venues delivered sandwiches that were well toasted, easy to eat - even on the run and not too fatty, with carefully chosen ingredients to keep customers coming back time and again. And damn, they tasted good.” If you’re a toastie fan, you can sample these innovative toastie creations for a few more weeks, so be sure to head to your nearest finalist/s to see what all the fuss is about. You’ve got until Tuesday 20 June, when the nation’s supreme toasted sandwich will be revealed. Without further ado, the finalists are: NORTHLAND / AUCKLAND Cazador (Mt Eden): The Badabing: Housemade gabagool, green chilli rajas, mozzarella, McClure’s Spicy Pickles and chilli salt.  Good Day (Orakei): Croc MonShaw: Thick cut free range smoked ham (from local butcher the legend Mr Chris Knight), lashings of cheesy, mustardy bēchamel sauce, crunchy McClure’s Sweet & Spicy Pickles and more cheese for the ultimate melt, on local baker the Dusty Apron’s grilled sourdough. Lord Kitchener (Sandringham): The Lord Truffle Pig: Glazed ham, truffled welsh rarebit, McClure’s Sweet & Spicy Pickles, Tewkesbury mustard, parmesan crisp, on toasted sourdough with fries. WAIKATO / BAY OF PLENTY Okere Falls Store and Craft Beer Garden (Rotorua) (2022 Supreme Winner): The Pickle Back: Whiskey BBQ glazed smoked brisket, Swiss, cheddar and mozzarella, leftover pickle chilli wholegrain mustard, McClure’s Sweet & Spicy Pickles, on Pantry D’or pickle brine sourdough brushed with whiskey compound butter and dusted with dill pickle salt. Served with a pickle brine shot.  Hayes Common (Hamilton): Grilled Pickle Kim-Cheese (vegetarian): Hayes Kimchi, sesame mayo, McClure’s Sweet & Spicy Pickles, cheddar, crispy shallots and spring onion greens on toasted Volare Pain au Levin. Served with kumara crisps. Freeport Cleaver & Co (Tauranga): Surf, Turf & Smoke, Monsieur!: Housemade smoked lamb pastrami, smoked prawns, mozzarella, smoked cheddar sauce and McClure’s Sweet & Spicy Pickles between BreadHead sourdough. Served with smoked aioli and pickle juice gel. CENTRAL NORTH ISLAND Best Burgers (Havelock North): The Joey: Slow cooked beef in a rich Sloppy Joe sauce, American cheese & McClure’s Sweet & Spicy Pickles in sourdough bread. Shining Peak Brewing (New Plymouth): The Joestie: An in-depth delve between land and sea. Smoked eel, kawakawa aioli, smoked cheddar, McClure’s Pickles, puha, topped with McClure’s pickle caviar.  WELLINGTON REGION Café Polo (Wellington): Come Out With Your Hams Up!: Ham hock and three cheese béchamel croque monsieur with McClure’s Garlic & Dill Pickles and watercress pesto.  Huxleys (Wellington): Le Grand Dipper: Aged beef, Swiss cheese, provolone cheese, garlic butter and McClure’s Bread & Butter Pickles, on Shelley Bay Sourdough, with a French onion dipping sauce. UPPER SOUTH ISLAND BEERS Craft Brewery (Christchurch): The Meaty’Oaker: Lamb pastrami, McClure’s pickle brine cure, McClure’s sauerkraut, McClure’s pickles, cheese, Beers by Bacon Bros Wookiee Sauce, on rye bread, topped with a mint glazed lamb cutlet. Sprig & Fern Tavern (Nelson): Baabaa Ganoush: House smoked lamb shoulder, baba ghanoush hummus, peppery rocket, Thor’s Hammer Manchego style cheese, McClure’s Sweet & Spicy Pickles, fresh hop aioli, on Don Rodrigo’s quinoa sour dough bread. Served with house cut twice cooked chips seasoned with rosemary and garlic Marlborough sea salt flake. LOWER SOUTH ISLAND The Fine Lion (Ashburton): Baa Baa Baa, Baa Baa BaLamb: Lumina lamb katsu, McClure’s Sweet & Spicy Pickles, daikon, sour plum, pecorino, sheep camembert and smoked kawakawa kewpie mayo on Harvey’s bakery special bread. Served with togarashi spiced spud skins and McClure’s Pickle hot sauce. Roasted and Toasted (Lumsden): Sheep Thrills: Slow roasted Southland lamb, Old Yella mustard, creamy mayo, McClure’s Bread & Butter Pickles, three cheese blend and Kel’s homemade McClure’s pickle jelly.  Due to such high scores this year, competition organisers Cook & Nelson would also like to acknowledge other venues and toasties deserving of a special mention: Auckland / Northland - Beaufort & Co (Albany), Bramble (Matakana), Bread & Butter Bakery (Grey Lynn), Cafe Aroha (Manurewa), Cheese on Toast (Mt Eden, Birkenhead), Crave (Morningside), Duo Eatery (Birkenhead), KOL (Ponsonby), Smokin Cole BBQ (Grey Lynn), Superfly (Mt Eden), Swings (CBD), The Grounds (Henderson)  Waikato / Bay of Plenty - Last Place (Hamilton), The Orchard House (Katikati), The Packhouse (Te Puke), The Public Office (Ngatea), Weave (Hamilton), The General (Mt Maunganui)  Central North Island - Replete (Taupõ), The Figgery (Hasings), Toasted Chef (Food Truck)  Wellington Region - Korky’s Catering Food Truck (Wairarapa), The Crafted & Co (Palmerston North), The Land Girl (Pirinoa), Honey Badger Saloon (Wellington)  Upper South Island - Austin Club (Christchurch), Bacon Bros Farmers Market Stall (Riccarton), South Town Club (Christchurch), The Quarters at Riccarton House (Riccarton)  Lower South Island - Johnny Crema (Queenstown), Little River Cafe (Little River), Waipiata Country Hotel (Waipiata)   With the competition’s toastmaster royale Joe McClure arriving in New Zealand this week, the final round of judging begins today, with McClure hitting the road to taste the finalists’ creations over the coming fortnight, alongside head judge Kerry Tyack and Nick Brown from organisers Cook & Nelson. In New Zealand for the first time since 2019 due to travel restrictions, the McClure’s Pickles founder says he can’t wait to get stuck in and sample the final toasties. “From what I’ve seen and heard so far from photos and judges’ comments, they all look and sound incredible. It really is something to see such innovative ingredients and flavour combinations being used and our pickles being incorporated in such clever ways. Kiwis really do know how to make a good toastie.” Each toastie will again be judged on presentation, effectiveness of preparation technique, eatability, taste, innovation and originality, with the nation’s top toasted sandwich set to be revealed on Tuesday 20 June. The supreme winner will walk away with a year’s worth of McClure’s Pickles, a bespoke Rikki Berger trophy and the well-deserved reputation for the best toasted sandwich in the country. A firm feature on the culinary calendar, the sixth annual competition has seen 185 eateries battle it out for the title of this year’s top toastie, with 120,000 toasted sandwiches consumed since mid April and that total expected to jump to 150,000 by the competition’s conclusion. Open to all New Zealand eateries, this year’s participants have come from as far north as Kororāreka, to as far south as Invercargill, and ranged from sandwich specialists, to fine dining restaurants, breweries and food trucks, with a vegan fast food chain, a subterranean cocktail bar, Wellington Airport, the Bluebridge Cook Strait ferry and even a retirement village in the mix. For more about McClure’s Pickles, see Previous competition winners include Rich Johns from Okere Falls Store and Craft Beer in Rotorua (2022), Steve MacDougall from Mollies, Hotel D’Urville in Blenheim (2021), Romeo Dowling Mitchell from Hungry Hobos Dunedin (2020), and Joseph Walker from the Hokitika Sandwich Company Hokitika (2019). McClure’s Pickles are a product of the USA.

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How to cut a world-class garnish with Seedlip Non-Alcoholic Spirits - Cook & Nelson

How to cut a world-class garnish with Seedlip Non-Alcoholic Spirits

A garnish on a drink is a final flourish. It adds an element of theatre and fun, and will enhance the drinking experience by awakening other senses such as sight and smell before taste comes into play.Herbs, edible flowers, citrus peels and spices all make for eye-catching, aromatic garnishes for non-alcoholic cocktails, but don’t plonk a garnish on a drink as an afterthought. If you’re adding Mint, bash the leaves a little in the palm of your hand to release the plants’ fragrant smell. Before adding citrus peel, give it a small squeeze over the glass to release the oil, as this holds much of the scent.The garnish should be as well thought out as the drink itself and these small actions help to take your cocktail to the next level in smell, taste and appearance.This mini guide to cutting garnishes will help ensure you’re getting the most out of the plants that we use most in our drinks, in five simple steps. GRAPEFRUIT ZEST FOR SEEDLIP SPICE 94 & TONICSweat the small stuff. Sharp angles and smart edges make all the difference. Peel a long strip of Grapefruit zest. About 1.5cm think. Cut off the untidy ends so you’re left with straight edges. Cut the short ends diagonally to create a long edge and a short edge. IV. Give your peel a little twist. Add to your Seedlip Spice 94 & Tonic at the end, making sure the garnish is at the front of the glass. CUCUMBER RIBBON FOR SEEDLIP GARDEN 108 & ELDERFLOWER TONICAn easy trick to introduce a dash of theatre and sophistication. Cut your Cucumber lengthways so that the soft, light-green flesh appears. Then take your peeler & peel, a long, thin strip. You want the middle part to have border of Cucumber skin all the way around it. Wind the garnish around your finger. Pick up the highball glass & drop the garnish into it while still holding the top part of the Cucumber against the glass w/ your finger. The Cucumber ribbon should unravel around the inside. Add ice & 50ml of Seedlip Garden 108. Then top w/ Elderflower Tonic. ORANGE SLICE FOR GROVE 42 & SODASimplicity at its finest. Find a lovely Orange & cut it in half. Then, cut off a slice, approx. 0.5cm thick Cut this slice in half, straight down the centre. Find a highball glass, fill it w/ ice & pour in 50ml Seedlip Grove 42. Top w/ soda & finally add your Orange slice. Make sure the slice sits at the front of the glass at a slight angle.

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Enjoy an ethical Easter with Tony’s Chocolonely  - Cook & Nelson

Enjoy an ethical Easter with Tony’s Chocolonely 

Chocolate lovers can indulge with a clear conscience this Easter, with ethically made Easter treats from Tony’s Chocolonely. Fans of lemon meringue and all things lemony will be hopping for joy over Tony’s Chocolonely new limited edition Milk Chocolate Lemon Meringue Bar. An Easter egg in a bar, this mouth-watering combination of flavours includes Fairtrade milk chocolate, crispy meringue pieces - made from free range eggs of course, and a hint of lemon sour.  Also back after last year’s sell-out introduction, Tony’s Chocolonely Egg-stra Special Chocolate Eggs come in a brightly packaged egg carton made of recyclable cardboard. These delectable mini morsels come in five tempting flavours - milk chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate caramel sea salt, milk chocolate hazelnut and dark chocolate almond sea salt. In keeping with the same ethos as Tony’s Chocolonely regular chocolate bars, the flavours are un-egg-qually divided amongst the 12 eggs to represent the current inequalities in the chocolate industry.  Rebecca Caughey, from distributors Cook & Nelson, says Tony’s Chocolonely’s ethically made Easter treats are not only incredibly tasty, but can be enjoyed guilt free. “Tony’s Chocolonely make chocolate with a mission to end exploitation in the cocoa industry.  With their Easter range you not only get incredibly delicious chocolate but you can feel good about what you put in your Easter basket.” Shop now: Egg-stra Special Chocolate Eggs  Milk Chocolate Lemon Meringue Bar

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Seedlip Non-Alcoholic Spirits: Six of your most commonly asked questions, answered - Cook & Nelson

Seedlip Non-Alcoholic Spirits: Six of your most commonly asked questions, answered

1. What is a non-alcoholic spirit? Is it the same as a flavoured water? Seedlip is the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirit, solving the ever-growing dilemma of ‘what to drink when you’re not drinking ®’. It is based on the distilled non-alcoholic remedies from The Art of Distillation written in 1651, and now repurposed to pioneer a new category of drinks.The bespoke distillation process used to make Seedlip meets the requirements of calling the liquid a spirit. A very small amount of Neutral Grain Spirit – or Alcohol – is used at the very early stages of the process to extract the most flavour we can out each of the premium ingredients we use. This alcohol is then removed using a secret method before the ingredients are expertly blended together to make Seedlip.Craftmanship, ingenuity and bespoke methods are all involved in the creation of our spirits –– just as they do in the creation of our alcoholic counterparts.Unlike a flavoured water, Seedlip is sophisticated and complex. It works with the palate and can complement a delicious meal. It offers those not wanting to drink alcohol, the ritual, flavour and sense of occasion; and bartenders working in world-class bars and restaurants around the world love to use Seedlip to make non-alcoholic cocktails. 2. How is Seedlip made? We carefully source and select herbs, spices, peels and barks, working closely with growers and fellow farmers including our own farm to find the very best ingredients that our master distiller can work with.Seedlip takes six weeks to make and involves bespoke maceration, copper pot distillation, blending and filtration process for each individual ingredient. It is then blended and bottled in England.We are transparent about our ingredients, but as we are the first people to make distilled non-alcoholic spirits, we can’t share all the details of our methods! 3. Why is Seedlip expensive? Seedlip sources the highest quality ingredients from our farmers around the world. The production process takes over six weeks, from individually distilling each ingredient to the final bottling. This is longer than a traditional spirit might take to produce, but we take time to get the best flavours from all of our natural ingredients to ensure we deliver a quality drink experience for our consumers.Seedlip is priced based on three things: I. The cost of sourcing the highest quality ingredients from our farmers around the world. II. The time, effort, equipment & expertise it takes to make a bottle of Seedlip [over six weeks individually distilling each ingredient]. III. The use, licences and associated tax and legal requirements of using alcohol in the process. 4. What ingredients are in each Seedlip spirit? There are six botanicals in each Seedlip Spirit and all Seedlip products are sugar-free and sweetener-free. Seedlip Garden 108: Water, Natural Botanical Distillates and Extracts, Preservative: Potassium Sorbate, Acid: Citric acid. A complex, herbal blend of individually copper pot distilled Peas, Hay and traditional English herbs. Seedlip Spice 94: Water, Natural Botanical Distillates and Extracts, Preservative: Potassium Sorbate, Acid: Citric acid. A blend of aromatic Jamaican Allspice berry and Cardamom distillates with two barks, and a bright citrus finish. Seedlip Grove 42: Water, Natural Botanical Distillates and Extracts, Preservative: Potassium Sorbate, Acid: Citric acid. A sophisticated, warm, citrus blend using three varieties of Mediterranean Orange, Lemon peel, Ginger and Lemongrass distillates with the cool prickle of Japanese Sansho Peppercorn. 5. What animals are in Seedlip label illustrations & what do the numbers mean?  All the animals on our bottles: the Fox, the Hare & the Squirrel, can all be found on, our founder, Ben Branson’s family farm.The label illustrations, designed by Raku Inoue, are made up of each of the six plant distillates used to make each Seedlip Spirit. Look closely and you’ll discover the ears of the Hare are Sugar Snap Peas, the head of the Squirrel is Ginger root, and the body of the Fox is made up of the quality Cascarilla & Oak bark found in Spice 94.The numbers relate to an interesting fact about the hero ingredient within each Seedlip Spirit: Seedlip Spice 94 1494 was the year European explorers came across Allspice berries growing in Jamaica. Seedlip Garden 108 On average, from the day they're sown, Peas take 108 days to grow and mature enough to be harvested. Seedlip Grove 42 Although Oranges have been grown in the Far East for thousands of years, it wasn’t till 1542 that the fruit made its way into Europe, and the colour orange first got its name. 6. How do I drink Seedlip? All Seedlip spirits are best served with tonic/soda or as the base for non-alcoholic cocktails.Alcohol carries flavour very well, as does sugar – Seedlip contains neither – but when mixed with tonic or within cocktails our spirits really shine and open up the complexity & strength of our plant distillates.We always recommended Seedlip is served as a 50ml measure over lots of ice, partnered with a mixer, and never drank neat.To garnish, we suggest using a Sugar Snap Pea for Garden 108 (we like to gently snap it, so it releases all those lovely green notes); an Orange twist for Grove 42; and a Grapefruit peel for Spice 94 – it makes all the difference!Our recommended serves are: Seedlip Garden 108: 50ml With Fever-Tree Indian tonic / Fever-Tree Elderflower Tonic: 125ml Garnish: A snapped Pea pod Seedlip Grove 42: 50ml With Indian tonic / Fever-Tree Soda: 125ml Garnish: Orange twist Seedlip Spice 94: 50ml Fever-Tree Indian tonic / Fever-Tree Ginger Ale: 125ml Garnish: Grapefruit peel

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An event to truly relish: Pickle Week returns for 2022 - Cook & Nelson

An event to truly relish: Pickle Week returns for 2022

Pickle fans should block out their calendars from November 14 because Pickle Week is returning with a range of pickle-inspired creations and activities - including a Pickle Festival. While International Pickle Day is officially recognised on November 14, several establishments are dedicating a whole week to this auspicious occasion, with some very special menu items available until November 20.Best Ugly Bagels is bringing back its hugely popular Pickolas Cage Bagel (made with McClure’s Pickles, Zany Zeus Cream Cheese, Tasty Cheese, Fresh Chopped Dill and Onion Soup Mix) available in six Auckland and Wellington outlets. Set to be on the menu for its third year from November 14-20, pickle fans have just seven days to up their bagel game with this creamy, crunchy, zingy delight.Also making a return after selling out last year, is the DOE Donuts’ Pickle (Dickle) Donut.  Deceptively delicious, this donut is filled with whipped cream cheese, feta and chunks of pickles, topped with a dill pickle glaze and garnished with more pickles. It quite rightly caused a social media frenzy last time around and will be available again from November 16-19 at DOE’s mini pink store in Grey Lynn. Wellington’s Dirty Burger and The Kaarage Kid have created the unusual but tantalising Peanut Butter Pickle Shake, made from McClure’s Pickle Juice & Pic's Peanut Butter blended with creamy soft serve.  Finishing off the week is a Pickle Festival on Sunday, November 20 at Churly’s Brewpub in Mount Eden.  Special items on the festival menu include the Pickle Dog, Corned Beef and Pickle Croquettes, Pickle and Cheese Sando and Fried Pickles. True pickle fans can wash all that down with a glass of Behemoth Brewing Company’s Gold Medal winning Pickle Beer, a Pickle Nick Pickle Juice sour 5.5% and a pickle back. And if you still need more pickles, Cook & Nelson will running a Pickle Stall on the day.Of course, no festival would be complete without games – and no game could be more appropriate for this festival than pickleball. Pickleball is an indoor or outdoor racket/paddle sport where two players, or four players, hit a perforated hollow polymer ball over a 36-inch-high net using solid-faced paddles. Opponents on either side of the net hit the ball back and forth until one side commits a rule infraction (source Wikipedia here).This family-friendly event kicks off at midday on Sunday, November 20 and finishes at 8pm. Becs Caughey, co-owner of Cook & Nelson, distributor of McClure’s Pickles says Pickle Week - and all its pickle-inspired creations - is one of her favourite times of the year. “We love collaborating with brands who love pickles as much as we do and we’re stoked to have Churly’s on board for the inaugural McClure’s Pickle Festival –there will be pickle fun for the whole family.”“Pickles really go with almost anything,” she says, “in previous years we’ve collaborated to create pickle ice cream, pickle soda and this year we’re bringing back the pickle milkshakes and the D’ickle DOE donut,  to the naysayers, try them, you might be pleasantly surprised.” McClure’s Pickles are Made in the USA by the McClure family. STORE LOCATIONS AND AVAILABILITY: BEST UGLY BAGELS Available : Monday 14th November – Sunday 20th November Cityworks Depot – Corner of Wellesley and Nelson Streets, Auckland City 3A York St, Newmarket, Auckland  Commercial Bay – Lower Albert Street, Auckland  5 Swan Lane, Te Aro, Wellington  Wellington Airport 153 Featherston Street, Wellington CHURLY’S Pickle menu items available: Tuesday 15th November – Sunday 20th November (not available Sat 19th). Pickle Festival on Sunday, November 20 at Churly’s Brewpub in Mount Eden. 1a Charles St, Mt Eden, Auckland DOE DONUTS Available: while stocks last at DOE Donuts from Wednesday 16 November - Saturday 19 November  356 Great North Road, Grey Lynn, Auckland OKERE FALLS The Pickle King: Pickle chunk brisket/chuck beef patty, cheddar, pickles, pickle brine bacon, pickle infused sour cream, mustard, in a milk bun with a pickle + mozzarella wonton crown.  Available: this Friday at the Okere Falls weekly Burger Night. 757A State Highway 33, Okere Falls 3074 DIRTY BURGER Available: Tuesday 15th November – Sunday 20th November 245 Cuba St, Te Aro, Wellington 237 Jackson St, Petone 144 Main St, Upper Hutt THE KAARAGE KID Available: Tuesday 15th November – Sunday 20th November 144 Main St, Upper Hutt 20 Parumoana Street, Porirua

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The Scariest Thing About Halloween - Cook & Nelson

The Scariest Thing About Halloween

It’s that time of year again, spooky season! Halloween is one of America’s favorite holidays, and it’s no surprise why. While corn mazes and trick-or-treating are some of our favorite activities, there’s a whole lot more to love. That is, except for the scary truth of what might be behind your chocolate. The scariest thing about Halloween isn’t the ghosts or goblins.. What makes Halloween so much fun is the spookiness of it all. From nights of frights watching scary movies, to trips to haunted houses to looking back on November 1st at how much candy you ate the night before. The spookiest things about Halloween should be the sweetest, but not all of them are. The scariest thing about Halloween isn’t the hocus pocus or the scary costumes marching down the street, it’s that the chocolate we give to children might be made by children. So, Halloween candy might be made with child labor? Unfortunately, yes. This year, the US government-funded NORC report showed that on aggregate at least 1 in 2 children in cocoa growing households in West Africa were performing child labor, and a total 1.56 million children were working under illegal conditions in 2018/19. Those numbers are alarming, especially since about 70% of the world’s cocoa is grown in West Africa alone. You can probably already guess how this relates to Halloween, but to paint a clearer picture, Voxestimates that 300,000 tons of candy are sold during the Halloween season. That’s six whole Titanics worth Now picture how much of that is chocolate and, more specifically, chocolate sourced in West Africa. We’re no mathematicians, but we can tell it’s a pretty big amount. What’s the solution? At Tony’s, we work to end modern slavery and illegal child labor on cocoa farms in West Africa. We use our 5 sourcing principles to address those problems directly, and we encourage other chocolate companies to take them and use them too. Addressing the problems of modern slavery and illegal child labor in the cocoa supply chain isn’t easy, and it’s gonna take a lot of teamwork. That’s why we made our Halloween Tiny Tony’s! They’re ethically produced and prove that all Halloween chocolate can be made ethically. Together, by making Halloween chocolate more ethically and sharing it with the world, we can make the scariest things about Halloween some of the sweetest once again. How else can we make Halloween sweeter? The first step to changing the chocolate industry is awareness. You’ve gotten know that there’s a problem before you can start to solve it, after all. We always encourage our Choco Fans and Serious Friends to share our chocolate and our story, and this Halloween we’re adding another spooktacular way for you to do just that with Halloween Zoom and Microsoft Teams backgrounds! Click here to download these backgrounds.While our mission is focused on West Africa, we are a B Corp at the end of the day and like to do good in our communities too. This year, Halloween might look a little different, and regardless of how you want to celebrate, we think everyone should have access to safe Halloween fun.

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North Island Lays Claim To Country's Top Toasted Sandwich

North Island Lays Claim To Country's Top Toasted Sandwich

Rotorua café smokes the competition with “perfect” brisket toastieThe North Island has finally snagged bragging rights to the country’s best toasted sandwich, with a Bay of Plenty cafe winning the 2022 Great New Zealand Toastie Takeover. Chef Rich Johns from Rotorua’s Okere Falls Store and Craft Beer Garden has won the hotly contested title – and brought an end to the South Island’s three-year winning streak in the competition – with his ‘Get Smoked, Pickled + Toasted’ creation. The winning sandwich consists of house-smoked, beer-brined brisket, McClure's Pickles, hop-salted mozzarella, smoked cheddar, watercress, and horseradish on Bread Asylum X Lumberjack Brewing spent grain sourdough with pickle brine sour cream and a beer gravy dipping bowl – all served up for a very reasonable $15.50.  Johns, who has worked at the Okere Falls Store café for the past six years, entered the Great New Zealand Toastie Takeover last year and just missed out on making the finalist round. Undeterred, he returned for another attempt, proving that second time can also be the charm.  Johns was so determined to use brisket in his toasted sandwich entry, he convinced the café’s owner to purchase a smoker. The brisket was brined in a house lager from local brewer Lumberjack Brewing, then spritzed with McClure’s pickle brine and smoked for 24 hours on site using a special rub.  A former wedding photographer with a deep passion for food and flavour, Johns switched careers when he decided photography took him away from his young family too often. He started working as a barista at Okere Falls Store, and after displaying an interest in menu development, moved to the kitchen, where he eventually became head chef.  Johns says he’s thrilled to be crowned the country’s toasted sandwich champion. “It’s still sinking in, but it’s a huge honour,” he says. “It reinforces the love and care we put into the creations at Okere Falls - we get lots of compliments from our diners on the food. “We don’t have a traditional menu and try to be a little different, so to win this shows it’s paying off and it’s so amazing to be rewarded. We’ve had so many rave reviews about the toastie and to win, it means a lot.”  The previous three winners of the Great New Zealand Toastie Takeover were all from the South Island - Steve MacDougall from Mollies (Hotel d’Urville, Blenheim) in 2021, Romeo Dowling-Mitchell from Dunedin’s Hungry Hobos in 2020, and Joseph Walker from the Hokitika Sandwich Company in 2019.   The competition’s head judge, Kerry Tyack, says this year’s winner was highly innovative in using the familiar and readily available. “The Okere Falls Store is a craft beer café, and it was great to see they maxed out the influence of craft brewing - for example, using hop-salted mozzarella, beer-soaked brisket, and artisan sourdough bread made from spent brewing grains,” he says. “We also enjoyed the nod to wild food via the use of watercress, while using the pickles as a palate-cleansing element was inspired. Their juice lifted the sour cream to a pickle and dill inspired high. “The entry also delivered epic mouthfeel and both complementary and contrasting flavours. No ingredient was superfluous, we gave it a perfect score for taste. “We should also mention the inclusion of a brief note explaining the brewing philosophy behind the main ingredients. It tied everything together perfectly.” McClure’s Pickles co-founder Joe McClure says while the quest to find Aotearoa’s tastiest toastie may be over for another year, it’s clear the Kiwi love affair with the toasted sandwich is as strong as ever. “This has been another watershed year for the Great New Zealand Toastie Takeover, one in which the judges were given the mammoth task of choosing a winner, while the entrants had to manoeuvre through the unique trading challenges thrown up by Covid-19,” he says. “But everyone made the necessary adjustments in typically innovative ways, and we’ve had another hugely exciting competition.” This fifth year of the popular competition saw more than 140,000 toasties served up to customers across the more than 180 eateries vying for the title.  The Great New Zealand Toastie Takeover competition criteria required sandwiches to be toasted between two slices of bread and able to be eaten by hand. The toasties also needed to contain cheese and McClure’s pickles, with all the other ingredients entirely up to the entrant’s imagination. Thirteen finalists were selected from the 180 entrants and were all judged on the same criteria, including presentation, effectiveness of preparation technique, eatability, taste, innovation, and originality.  Rich Johns and Okere Falls Store can now claim to the top toastie award by way of a bespoke Rikki Berger* trophy, a year’s worth of McClure’s Pickles, and $500 in vouchers to give away to customers. The winning toasted sandwich remains on their menu seven days a week (from 10am – 4pm) until the end of August – and potentially beyond! For more information about the Great New Zealand Toastie Takeover, check out

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