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The BBC Good Food Christmas Taste Awards 2018 testing is complete and the results are in…
Our expert panel blind-tasted 166 entries – good and bad – from 11 supermarkets to bring you the very best food buys on offer this Christmas. Read on to discover the winning products for each of the 18 categories.
For the full list of winners, including highly commended products, visit our BBC Good Food Christmas Taste Awards hub page.
BBC Good Food Christmas Taste Awards 2018 winners
Pembrokeshire bronze free-range turkey. Buy from M&S (£10 per kilo)This plump bird roasted to a lovely golden colour with a tasty crisp skin. The breast meat was moist and succulent while the legs were savoury and gamey.
Deluxe apricot & white stilton stuffing. Buy from Lidl (£2.39)These stuffing balls were hugely popular. We loved the neat, fruit-studded appearance and contrast of the sweet apricot against savoury stilton.
Extra Special heather honey & black pepper smoked salmon. Buy from Asda (£3.99)This sweet-smoked salmon came in neat, thick slices, edged with herbs and black pepper. It would look great on a buffet table.
Alternative meat centrepiece
British sirloin of beef (1.5kg). Buy from M&S (£45)The cooking instructions are spot on for this. The meat was soft and tender and came with just the right amount of the delicious truffle butter and mushroom topping, which added loads of flavour.
Juniper-smoked spiral crackling gammon. Buy from Waitrose & Partners (£12.49 per kg)This was our favourite product of the entire taste test – an all out winner! This is a bone-in joint with a deliciously crisp pork-scratching-style crackling. The meat is a little on the salty side, but not in an off-putting way, as the moist meat has bags of flavour, too.
Vegetarian main course
Baked ricotta stacks with creamy white wine sauce (380g). Buy from M&S (£7)It’s great to see a vegetarian main without pastry. This was attractively presented, with well proportioned stacks and a nice mix of textures.
Puddings, desserts & mince pies
Specially Selected exquisite panettone (800g). Buy from Aldi (£5.99)This was velvety, buttery and golden, with strong notes of vanilla, and was fluffy and moist when we cut into it.
The Best poinsettia Christmas cake (1.5kg). Buy from Morrisons (£12)Impressive sugar decorations and gold sparkle made this an elegant addition to the table. It had a delicate gingerbread flavour and the marzipan held together well once cut.
Belgian chocolate & cherry dessert (1kg). Buy from M&S (£20)Festive and retro, this dessert had a great texture – think bitter chocolate, rich mousse and a hint of booze. The practical shape made it easy to slice and serve.
Extra Special Christmas pudding (907g). Buy from Asda (£4.50)A good-size pudding with a nice, glossy exterior. Plenty of nuts and plump cherries gave this moist, dense pudding a great texture, and the kick of booze really developed after each mouthful.
Gluten-free Christmas pudding
Free From richly fruited Christmas pudding (454g). Buy from Waitrose & Partners (£5)A lovely, buttery and delicious homemade flavour. This nut free pudding didn’t seem like a gluten free product so would appeal to everyone in the family. A light texture, and plump juicy fruit this held together well. A good balance of mellow sweet and bitter tones.
The Best deep-filled mince pies (pack of six). Buy from Morrisons (£2)Our judges loved the buttery, almost shortbread-like pastry on these mince pies, as well as the design and sugar dusting. The filling had whole raisins and sultanas, with a nice balance of sweetness and booze.
Gluten-free mince pies
Free From mince pies (pack of four). Buy from Morrisons (£2)These had a good pastry-to-filling ratio. The mincemeat was distinctive and zesty, with a complex flavour and juicy fruit.
Deluxe luxury stollen with Jamaican rum. Buy from Lidl (£3.99)This soft, panettone-like dough had plenty of almond flavour and a generous serving of fruit. We loved getting marzipan in every mouthful.
Specially Selected snowflake tiffin honeycomb & orange. Buy from Aldi (£3.29)These easy-to-pick-up chunky snowflake bites were chocolatey and indulgent, with chewy marshmallow and crunchy biscuit.
Feta, spinach & pine nut spanakopita (170g). Buy from Waitrose & Partners (£7)Packed with spinach, pine nuts and feta, these well seasoned pastry pinwheels were loved by all our judges and received high marks.
Vegan jackfruit tacos (264g). Buy from Waitrose & Partners (£7)These easy-to-eat tacos contain on-trend jackfruit, which adds texture and was complemented well by the herby crumble topping and smoky flavouring.
Savoury canapés (meat or fish)
For the full list of BBC Good Food Christmas Taste Awards 2018 products, including those given highly commended awards, visit our BBC Good Food Christmas Taste Awards hub page. For more taste tests and best buys, visit our BBC Good Food review section.
The judging process
The team sampled 166 products across a total of 20 categories, although two categories (vegan main courses and vegan desserts) were disqualified due to inadequate sample size or poor quality of products. We also awarded ‘highly commended’ status to 28 high-scoring products that didn’t win the top spot but deserved recognition.
To read more about the judging process, visit the BBC Good Food Christmas Taste Awards 2018 FAQ page.
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