What does a Rotorua burger look like? According to Rotorua locals it should be big, spicy – and egg should be one of the stars.
Texas Chicken New Zealand has announced that it will be designing its first ever regional burger – with the help of Rotorua locals.
The fried chicken brand ran a survey last month, that asked customers to share their thoughts on what an official regional burger should look and taste like. More than 500 people responded with their ideas and favourite ingredients.
Some clear themes came through in the results. Most people (63 per cent) agreed that the burger needed to be spicy to reflect Rotorua's geothermal heritage.
Egg was also mentioned by almost 40 per cent as an obvious nod to the sulphuric scent that Rotorua was famous for.
Smoky flavours were suggested to celebrate the region's volcanic past with 76 per cent of people asking for bacon and 25 per cent barbecue sauce.
Many participants favoured traditional ingredients, such as cheese (86 per cent), onion (66 per cent), lettuce (84 per cent) and mayo (45 per cent) with most wanting two chicken patties (63 per cent). However, there were more creative suggestions, such as:
"It needs to be spicy and perhaps include jalapeños with spicy chicken to really heat things up like a Rotorua thermal pool."
"Definitely creamy mushrooms with a hint of garlic to reflect the bubbling mud pools."
"A hangi inspired burger. Bun, spicy chutney, kumara patty, boneless chicken breast, smoked cheese, lettuce mayo."
"Puha or watercress (greens), Maori fried bread as bun, kumara chips, avocado, kiwifruit chutney, battered prawns and oysters, manuka honey and mustard."
"Two chicken fillets crumbed or grilled, creamed mushrooms or paua to add some thermal mud colour, egg for the smell of Rotorua, onion rings, bacon, raw red onion, red capsicum, pineapple, avocado, egg and prawns topped with aioli and sweet chilli sauce in a toasted brioche bun."
The restaurant chain had started testing various combinations using the results of the survey. The Rotorua chicken burger was expected to appear on menus in early March 2019 and will be available for a limited time from both Texas Chicken Fairy Springs and Texas Chicken Te Ngae Rd.