The Smoking Gun food and drink team have been busy reviewing this year’s selection of high street Christmas sandwiches.
Conducted by a blind taste test, the team tried eight festive favourites from the Co-op, Costa, Pret, Eat, Tesco, Aldi, Sainsbury’s and Marks and Spencer. All sandwiches were marked on appearance, flavour, volume of filling and were scored out of five.
To keep it fair, we only sampled traditional turkey offerings – no toasties, paninis, veggie options, extra trimmings or wraps.
Here’s how they scored, ranked from lowest to highest:
1/5 Marks and Spencer
A disappointing last place for the foodie favourite retailer. Marks and Spencer scored just 1/5 from the team with taste being the biggest let down. One person described it as ‘bland’ and another said it was ‘slimy’.
The volume of filling was also scored quite low but the overall appearance was ranked fairly amongst the other sandwiches.
The Marks and Spencer Turkey Feast sandwich is £3.50 and 5% of takings are donated to Shelter.
The main thing that bumped Tesco up from last place was its generous offering of filling split across a triple sandwich pack.
However, it’s flavour let it down considerably, with one person stating it had an ‘antiseptic’ taste to it and another saying it was ‘soapy’.
The presentation didn’t fair well either with some saying it was ‘messy’ and others saying it was ‘too packed’.
The Tesco Turkey & Trimmings Triple sandwich is £2.80.
Usually a festive favourite, the Pret Christmas sandwich came out pretty mediocre for the Smoking Gun foodies.
Its appearance and use of spinach helped secure extra points on the board but flavour scored very poorly with one person saying ‘that’s not for me’ and another stating ‘I really don’t like that one’.
It was also criticised for not having enough turkey or enough filling in general for the bread ratio.
The Pret Christmas Sandwich is priced at £3.75 and 50p of each sale goes to charity.
The Sainsbury’s Turkey Feast scored highly for it’s appearance with people loving the inclusion of spinach and bread to filling ratio.
Taste wise – the seasoning let it down a little. Three tasters said it was too ‘salty’ and another said it was too ‘fruity’.
With a little more balance on the basics next year, this sandwich could jump up the Christmas charts.
The Sainsbury’s Turkey Feast sandwich is priced at £2.35.
No longer the underdog of the high street, Aldi gave the other sandwiches a good run for their money.
It scored well on flavour with one person saying it was ‘really nice’ and another saying ‘that’s my favourite’.
Appearance was positive with the team but the main winner was the volume of filling. The only negative was one person saying it needed ‘more cranberry’.
The Aldi Turkey Feast is priced at £1.69 – the cheapest sandwich in our round-up.
4/5 The Co-op
The Co-op came in third with its Turkey & Trimmings Christmas sandwich, scoring highly for both appearance and filling. One person said it was ‘very nice’ and one commented on the great ‘meaty flavour’.
The overall score was brought down by one person who claimed the sandwich was ‘average’ but the group as a whole agreed it was a firm bronze winner.
The Co-op Turkey & Trimmings sandwich is £2.95.
Taking the silver award is coffee chain, Costa with its British Turkey Feast. Its top score was for appearance, with many of the team applauding its rectangular shape and thick cut bread.
Next was the taste with one person saying it tasted ‘really homemade’ and another stating it was ‘really good’.
The only thing that kept it from the top spot was its volume of filling. One taster said ‘their needs to be more turkey at the edges and another said ‘it needs more turkey throughout’.
The Costa British Turkey Feast sandwich is £3.50.
Taking the title of ‘Best Christmas sandwich’ by the Smoking Gun food and drink team is coffee chain, Eat.
It scored highest for appearance with its neatly packed layers of filling and again, rectangular shaped sandwiches.
Volume of ingredients was next with comments including ‘perfect balance’ and ‘just enough cranberry’. The final score was on taste with one person calling out the ‘lovely bread’ and another touching on the ‘great quality meat’.
All in all, a solid gold winner.
The Eat Festive Full Works Bloomer is £3.95 – the most expensive sandwich in our round-up.