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The West Coast has been judged home to the country's best toastie after the Hokitika Sandwich Company won the inaugural Great New Zealand Toastie Takeover competition.
Created by sandwich company owner Joseph Walker, the Revell Street eatery's $10 'Detroit' took out top prize in the contest with its combination of corned beef, McClure's Sweet and Spicy Pickles, Harvarti and cream cheeses, red onion, and Mr Walker's own in-house sauce toasted on a locally sourced and baked loaf that was baked to order.
It beat 12 other finalists for the prize. Judges praised the toastie for being simple, unpretentious, yet bold - "and clearly made by someone who knows a great toastie".
Those judges included Joe McClure, of McClure's Pickles in Detroit, who travelled to New Zealand to sample the finalists' toasties, and he was full of praise for the Hokitika Sandwich Company's toastie.
"Their choice of just a few exceptional ingredients was considered and carefully prepared and layered to deliver sensational flavour and a great mouthfeel," he said.
"With buttery, velvety toast crunching into warm, flavoursome melted cheese, rich peppery meat and a generous layer of fresh pickles to refresh the pallet, this truly is the country's supreme cheese toastie."
Joseph Walker has owned and operated the Hokitika Sandwich Company for almost two years. All sandwiches are served on fresh baked ciabatta bread with a minimum of eight sandwiches on the menu at any time.
All meat is free range and sourced from a local artisan butcher, their cheese is handmade by a variety of South Island cheesemakers and all condiments are made in-house daily.
More than 50 cafes and restaurants entered the competition.
The Hokitika Sandwich Company now has a bespoke Toastie Takeover trophy to proudly display, as well as a year's worth of McClure's Pickles.