‘Tis the season to eat sandwiches...Christmas sandwiches to be precise.
But which is best?
Which food firm has got the tastiest turkey, the poshest pigs in blankets and the most succulent stuffing in between its finest sliced bread?
We’ve taken the plunge and road tested the festive offerings from the six major retailers vying for your lunch time custom.
The rules of this review require the sandwich to be as close as possible to a traditional Christmas dinner as possible, preferably with the word ‘festive’ or Christmas on the box.
The second rule is that we’re only taste testing bog-standard sliced bread in a box sandwiches, no fancy baguettes and no wraps, bakes, toasties or burgers.
Surprisingly, that rules out one of the nation’s sandwich giants.
Greggs has confirmed it is not doing a simple festive sandwich this year – reason unknown.
So it’s between Asda, the Co-op, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco.
First up, Asda’s ‘Turkey Feast’ which also contains pork sausage, bacon, herby stuffing, cranberry and port chutney on thick multiseed bread. Price £3.
This is the chunkiest sandwich on trial packed full of sausage and turkey but that’s part of its downfall. The problem is the thick bread is drowning out the other flavours and making it a little dry.
Sainsbury’s ‘Turkey with Pigs Under Blankets’ is on malted bread, with cranberry and port sauce and mayonnaise. At £2.20 it’s the joint cheapest. It’s mostly sausage and bacon on much thinner bread than the Asda version. The cranberry and port is absent without leave, meaning there’s a distinct lack of fruitiness. It just tastes like pork rather than Christmas sandwich but it still has more flavour than the more expensive Asda version.
M&S’s ‘Turkey Feast’ is on soft malted brown bread. At £3.25 expectations are high, although 16p is donated to charity Shelter. It has probably the best balance of turkey, stuffing, bacon and cranberry making it a bit moister than the others. But ultimately it’s still quite bland, the absence of sausage might be why.
Co-op’s ‘Pigs Under Blankets’ has the most luxurious sounding ingredients, including butter basted turkey, beechwood smoked bacon, Cumberland sausage, sage and onion stuffing and wild cranberry chutney on sage and onion bread. The joint most expensive at £3.25 it also claims to be playing a part in raising £50,000 for the British Red Cross.
While not making a great impression on opening with cranberry spilled on top of the bread, this is by far the most flavoursome of the bunch. The use of white bread means the ingredients inside have a chance to be tasted and the balance of sauce and meat is right meaning it genuinely tastes like a mouthful of Christmas dinner between two slices of half decent bread.
Tesco’s ‘Turkey and Trimmings’ is the budget option at just £2.20. It’s a solid effort but quite heavy on the mayo, which may put some people off. Again the malted brown bread suppresses some of the milder flavours but if you like the taste of cranberry and mayo you won’t be too bothered. If you want to be able to taste the sausage, bacon or stuffing you’re going to be disappointed.
Morrisons’ ‘Turkey Dinner’ is the second cheapest at £2.30 but while the packet looks budget it’s what’s inside that counts. And it’s certainly punching above its weight with a very well filled and moist sandwich. No one flavour dominates, and the malted bread doesn’t suppress the flavours too much like some others.
So, the verdict.
Co-op takes the crown as its quality does shine through. Morrison’s is a surprise second, M&S third, Tesco fourth, Sainsbury’s fifth and bringing up the rear is Asda.