There are some things which all of us look forward to at this time of year. The first time you get to wear your favourite sparkly jumper, the first time you hear Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas on the radio, your first glass of mulled wine in a ‘heated’ pub garden.
But nothing - nothing - brings as much excitement as the arrival of the Christmas sandwich. At some unspecified time in early December, supermarkets, shops and delis go head to head in the battle of the bread, tempting festive shoppers with sandwiches made of turkey, cranberry, stuffing and sausage. Here at Stylist we take our lunchtimes very seriously so, in the interests of research, we’ve put the seven best Christmas sandwiches through a rigorous taste test. Here’s how they fared...
1. EAT: Christmas Full Works Sandwich, £3.50, 10p of each sandwich is donated to a local homeless charity
Taking the top spot, this rustic offering is on white bloomer bread and is loaded with good quality meat. We liked that it has good quality ham instead of bacon, making it taste less salty, and the salad gives it a crispness and avoids it being too soggy. They might have slightly overdone it on the cranberry sauce though.
2. Greggs: Christmas Sandwich, £2.20
Our second favourite sandwich was from Greggs - proof that you should never judge a sandwich by its cover. Really meaty, the stuffing is nicely crumbly and the malted brown bread holds together perfectly. There isn’t any greenery but it’s not the poorer for it; it tastes authentically Christmassy and the bacon is delicious.
3. Pret a Manger: The Pret Christmas Lunch Sandwich, £3.25
In at number three, it’s everyone’s favourite, Pret. We expected this to be the winner but, when it came down to it, the overload of cranberry and mayo made it a bit soggy. Having said that, the spinach breaks up the heaviness and the sausage is really flavoursome.
4. Tesco: Finest Turkey Feast Sandwich, £2.60
One for meat lovers. The turkey and sausage in this festive feast is top notch and there is just the right balance of cranberry sauce. The seeded bread works well and there’s no shortage of filling. One of our panel described it as ‘good in a geezery way’.
5. Marks & Spencer: Count On Us Festive Turkey, Cranberry & Coleslaw Sandwich, £2.30
Originators of the packet sandwich, M&S didn’t chart as highly as we’d expected, but come in at a respectable number five. The meat is good but there’s not enough of it, and the bacon is top notch. Best of all it’s not too salty and doesn’t leave you feeling bloated.
6. Sainsbury’s: Turkey Feast Sandwich, £2.60
The bacon and stuffing overwhelm the turkey and there’s way too much lettuce, but we like the granary bread and overall the sandwich has a good consistency. Not nearly enough cranberry sauce for our liking though.
7. Waitrose special edition turkey sandwich, £3.40
In an effort to be delicate and refined, they’ve gone for wafer thin turkey. Although it does make the sandwich lighter, it also means it seems more like a turkey salad sandwich than anything we associate with Christmas. It needs a bit more sauce, a bit more meat and a bit more punch. Definitely the one to go for if you want a lighter option though.