Recipe: Toast Hawaii

A retro Swiss recipe, Toast Hawaii originated in the German-speaking side of Switzerland. It grew in popularity following its introduction in 1955 by Clemens Wilmenrod via his TV cooking show, which was based in West Germany.

Toast Hawaii reminds me of an American-style “Hawaiian Pizza,” which combines ham, pineapple and cheese—except the Swiss version is an open-faced sandwich with a cherry on top. I use Emmentaler cheese, but I’ve heard from several Swiss that they prefer Gruyère.

Overall, this recipe could not be easier. I like the combination of the sweet fruit with the salty, savory ham and cheese.

Toast Hawaii

  • Difficulty: easy
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Inspired by the recipes for Toast Hawaii from Croqu’menus (9th edition, 2005, p. 144) and landwirtschaft.ch.

Ingredients

  • butter
  • slices of bread (store-bought, pre-sliced bread for toasting works well)
  • sliced ham
  • Emmentaler cheese (known as “Swiss cheese,” in the US)
  • canned or fresh pineapple rings
  • cherries, canned or jarred

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 220°C/425°F.
  2. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Place the slices of bread on the baking sheet
  4. Spread some butter on top of the bread slices.
  5. Place a slice of ham on the buttered slice of bread, followed by the pineapple and finally, the cheese.
  6. Bake for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and garnish with one cherry in the center of the pineapple ring. Serve immediately.

Have you ever made Toast Hawaii? What kind of cheese do you use? If you have any recommendations or anecdotes to share, please leave a comment below or send me an email. Thanks! 

10 replies »

  1. My gran gran use to make this when I was a kid. was so good. she originated from Switzerland. she would typically use Emmentaler cheese but would also use Munster cheese sometimes. both were great to me. depends on your opinion of Munster.

    • Hello Sunny! Thanks for sharing this nice memory of Toast Hawaii with your grandmother. I like it with Emmentaler AOP too. Curious to hear she was also using Munster! I just bought some pineapple and plan on making this dish this week. Many thanks, and best wishes. -Heddi

  2. my mum used to spread some Thomy mustard (“Mild”, light blue tube) over butter before placing the ham.

  3. I’ve made it with peameal bacon instead of the ham. And I used smoked gouda instead of the emmental.

    FYI, Hawaiian pizza was created in Canada in the 1960’s.

    • Hello Greg! Thank you for sharing this! I had never heard of peameal bacon before. I really need to make this dish again soon. Best wishes, -Heddi

    • Hello! Thanks for visiting my blog! Totally agree. This recipe originated in Germany and crossed the border to Switzerland. 🙂

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