The best & worst of high street Christmas sandwiches

Grace Dean reviews a selection of festive meal deal offerings.

Grace Dean
20th November 2016
Snow is slowly falling in the north, Christmas songs are playing on the radio and the John Lewis ad has finally been released – slowly but surely we’re approaching the big day, and excitement for the Christmas dinner is slowly mounting up. For those of us who, like me, can’t wait til December 25th for a taste of turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce, then the sandwiches offered by supermarkets are the perfect on-the-go Christmas fix, and to help, I’ve sampled the best and worst of these for you.

Eat4Less Brie & Cranberry Baguette, £1.25. What better way to start than with the cheapest Christmas sandwich imaginable at Newcastle’s classic student hangout? Despite the recent Eat4Less price increase (damn you, inflation!), this still offers incredible value for money. An incredibly satisfying foot-long baguette, oozing with a surprisingly generous portion of fresh creamy brie, is the perfect little festive pick-me-up, and one of the few Christmas offerings that caters for vegetarians too. One minor criticism, however, is the addition of iceberg lettuce, which ruins the creamy texture of the brie and just doesn’t harmonise with the cranberry sauce. 3/5

M&S Turkey & Pigs in Blankets, £3. This sandwich gives a cheerful contemporary twist to the classic pigs in blankets, which are often the most sought-after part of the Christmas dinner. Boasting a wide range of meat, with bacon, pork sausage and smoked bacon, this sandwich is completely satisfying and left me full, which made up for the fact that it wasn’t included in the M&S meal deal.  A common criticism of Christmas sandwiches is that the flavour of the stuffing overpowers the other ingredients, however M&S avoided this problem by using sage and onion bread instead, ensuring there are no lumps of stuffing inside. In spite of that, the cranberry chutney, while binding the sandwich together and adding a festive tang, tasted more jam-like to me, and the spiced mayonnaise had was unevenly distributed throughout the sandwich, leaving a particularly strong clove flavour in one bite. 4/5

Tesco Finest Brie & Mulled Wine Chutney Sandwich, £3. This was a mistake. A massive mistake.  In its gorgeously festive packaging, with soft multigrain bread, generous slices of creamy brie and fresh crunchy spinach, the sandwich lured me in, and I thought it would be the perfect companion for a six hour coach journey to Liverpool. Oh, the regrets. Despite the quality of the individual ingredients, they just didn’t work well together, and this was a let-down compared to the usual juicy turkey feast. The brie was delicious, and the bread was a delight too, however they were both overpowered by the excessive flavour of the cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in the mulled wine chutney. I won’t even detail the big lumps of grape in there. This sandwich ruined my coach journey, during which my lunch is often the only high point, and my only condolence was that at least it had been reduced to £1.27. 1/5

Greggs Christmas Lunch Toastie, £3. In the cold December weather when it’s already dark by four o’clock, the idea of a hot meal on your way home from uni is always alluring, yet often a far-fetching dream.  Cue the Greggs Christmas Lunch Toastie. This flavourful offering from Greggs perfectly fills a gap in the sandwich-to-go market – it’s HEATED! Packed with loads of filling and yet not as heavy as the classic Festive Bake, this sandwich somehow manages to fill a niche in a heavily-saturated market. The perfect hangover treat on those cold winter days. 5/5

ASDA Turkey Dinner Tortilla Wraps, £2.50. The bright red Christmas packaging and generous portion lured me in, and offered the classic festive flavours of turkey, sausage, stuffing, bacon and cranberry sauce with a contemporary twist by serving them in black pepper wraps. The flavour, however, was disappointing to say the least. Dominated by an overpowering sage flavour from the stuffing and with a distinct lack of cranberry sauce, these dry wraps were a struggle to get through, and featured a disappointingly large ratio of wrap to filling. Whilst an original idea, and potentially a more practical on-the-go meal (there’s less of a risk of the filling falling out than there would be with a sandwich), the dry texture unfortunately just didn’t compare to the more traditional offerings on the market. 2/5

Image: M&S Turkey & Pigs in Blankets by Grace Dean

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AUTHOR: Grace Dean
Editor-in-Chief of the Courier 2019/20, News Editor 2018/19, writer since 2016 and German & Business graduate. I've written for all of our sections, but particularly enjoy writing breaking news and data-based investigative pieces. Best known in the office for making tea and blasting out James Blunt. Twitter: @graceldean

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