The famous open-faced sandwich made popular in Germany in the 1950’s, Toast Hawaii features ham, pineapple and Swiss cheese and is topped with a cherry or fruit preserves for a delightful sweet and savory flavor combo!
What is Toast Hawaii?
Toast Hawaii, also known as Hawaiian Toast, is a German dish that was made popular in the 1950’s. It features ham, pineapple and cheese (traditionally Emmental or Gruyere) and is similar to America’s “Hawaiian Pizza” except that its base is toast rather than pizza crust.
Toast Hawaii is served as an open-faced sandwich with a cherry placed in the center or your choice of fruity preserves. The combination of sweet and savory sandwich is also reminiscent of a Monte Christo sandwich and French croque-monsieur.
The dish was made popular by Clemens Wilmenrod, Germany’s first TV chef. He was known for creating inventive recipes amidst the food scarcity of post-war Germany. Toast Hawaii offered a touch of the exotic while being made with simple and accessible ingredients, e.g., bread, ham, cheese and canned pineapple in a time when fresh pineapple was nearly impossible to find.
This dish has remained popular in Germany ever since and can be found throughout Germany’s cafe’s and restaurants.
Toast Hawaii Recipe
To make Toast Hawaii you’ll need bread, butter, ham, pineapple and either Emmental, Gruyere or Swiss cheese. The slices of bread are toasted and then buttered and then they’re topped with ham, pineapple and lastly the cheese.
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Then they’re baked in the oven until the cheese is melted.
The toasts are served with either a maraschino cherry placed in the center of the pineapple ring or a dollop of fruit preserves (cherry or cranberry are popular).
And that’s all there’s to it!
In less than 10 minutes you have a ready lunch or a light dinner made with pantry staples.
For more quick and casual German dishes be sure to try our:
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 8 slices bread
- 8 slices ham
- 8 slices pineapple rings (canned or fresh), drained and blotted with a paper towel
- 8 slices Emmental, Gruyere or Swiss cheese
- 8 maraschino cherries or 4 tablespoons fruit preserves such as cherry or cranberry
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220°C). Briefly toast each slice of bread in the toaster. Butter each piece of bread and lay the bread slices down side by side on a lined baking sheet. Place a slice of ham on each slice of bread followed by a pineapple ring and slice or sprinkling of cheese.Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted.Remove from the oven and either place a cherry in the center of the pineapple ring or a half tablespoon of fruit preserves. Serve immediately.
Originally published on The Daring Gourmet May 30, 2020