The battle for 2017’s best festive sandwich is well under way so we sent local Christmas sandwich enthusiast Leon Campbell out to settle the debate once and for all. Anything this man doesn’t know about Christmas sandwiches isn’t worth knowing…
What’s the best thing about the run up to Christmas? Time off work? Seeing family? Watching Christmas films like Elf? Or is it simply knowing that it’s socially acceptable to be drunk by lunch time?
Well, actually it’s all of those things.
But nothing gets my festive spirit going quite like the release of the Christmas sandwiches. Well, sandwiches AND that scene in Home Alone where Kevin finally befriends Old Man Marley. Both are equally significant moments.
Much like everything, taste is subjective, so these are my unbiased opinions on some
of the sandwiches that have hit the ‘elves this year! So let’s get started…
Boots: Turkey, bacon, stuffing & cranberry, £2.75 (rating 3.5 out of 5)
Peering through the window of the box the sandwich looked well assembled, with thick layers of malted bread. The filling consisted of slices of buttery-tasting turkey, which conjured a Disney-esque image in my head of a sweet old lady basting the bird to keep it flavoursome and tender.
There was a perfect balance of sweet, smooth cranberry sauce and mayo to keep the sandwich moist, which really gives you that holiday feeling.
It’s a good sandwich that has certainly made me want to try some of the new festive sandwich choices Boots have added this year, although the filling was a little stingy.
Tesco: Turkey & trimmings, £2.35 (rating 2.8 out of 5)
Nothing about the packaging really sends me that feelgood Miracle on 34th Street feeling, so let’s just dance around the fact it has clearly been designed by the Grinch and get down to business.
The filling is as generous as Scrooge on Christmas morning. He’s thrown down that golden coin and told little Tesco to get the biggest turkey they can find to fill this sandwich.
There are long pieces of Beechwood smoked bacon, with slices of pork sausage sporadically set throughout the sandwich and small crumbles of sage and onion.
The cranberry sauce comes through ever so subtly but it’s really the chicken stock mayo that gives it a rich flavour boost, maybe a little too overbearing though?
I mean, I’m not saying it’s not good, but if the sandwich was Destiny’s Child, you’d need the mayo to play a bigger role than Michelle, but a little less than Kelly.
Overall, the filling is fantastic for the price but what knocked it down for me was the mayo being Beyoncé when it didn’t need to be.
Pret: Pret’s Christmas Lunch, £3.75 (rating 4.5 out of 5)
First impressions count. So when I was greeted with a delightful box with golden reindeers linked by wrapping paper-esque swirls, I was already feeling a bit naughty for opening one of my Christmas presents too early!
And in the spirit of Christmas, the time of giving, I was pleased to see that Pret is donating 50p per sandwich to charity.
Each sandwich is freshly made daily and you can really tell. Tender thick slices of Norfolk free-range turkey breast on malted bread with a dollop of mayo and slightly tart port & orange cranberry sauce… I already felt like I should be sitting in a log cabin beside a roaring open fire listening to Nat King Cole!
Couple this with Pret’s herby stuffing – executed perfectly with seasoned minced pork, streaky bacon and apricots on a bed of fresh baby spinach – and you have the gift of a gold standard sandwich.
I struggled to find any of the crispy onions, but I’m told in good faith they are there!
So there we have it sprout fans, my top Christmas sandwich this year is by Pret “away in” A Manger.
Merry Christmas ya filthy animals!
Leon’s best of the rest in MK
M&S: Turkey & pigs in blankets (3.3 out of 5)
A bit like the new John Lewis Christmas advert, it was alright, but a little disappointing as I had high hopes for it.
Waitrose: Turkey feast (3.4 out of 5)
A decent sandwich and the turkey tasted good, but it’s more of a Boxing Day sandwich than the real deal of Xmas Day.
Aldi: Turkey feast (2.7 out of 5)
I enjoyed the pigs in blankets in this hearty sandwich, but it was let down by its soggy bread.