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Mince pies on table

BBC Good Food Christmas Taste Awards 2018


Discover all you need to know about the BBC Good Food Christmas Taste Awards 2018. From salmon to stollen and the all-important essentials like turkey and mince pies, we've tried them all...

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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

Christmas lunch


Christmas turkey on platter

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. 


Christmas stuffing in bowl

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. 

Smoked salmon

Smoked salmon slices on a plate

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

Sirloin of beef on platter with slices cut

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.


Ham with crackling on chopping board with slices cut out

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

vegetarian cheesecake with mushroom and leeks

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


Panettone on plate with wedge cut out

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. 

Christmas cake

Christmas cake with white icing and flower design

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. 

Centrepiece dessert

Chocolate dessert log with slice cut out

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. 

Christmas pudding

Christmas pudding on plate with scoop taken out

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

Christmas pudding on golden wire tray

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.

Mince pies

Mince pies with star design on

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

Mince pies on plate dusted with icing sugar

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.


Stollen on a plate with slices

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.

Sweet canapés

Chocolate snowflake shaped bars on wooden serving platter

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.

Party canapés

Vegetarian canapés

Pastry spirals with spinach on wooden platter

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 canapés

Mini tacos with jack fruit filling on a white plate

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)

Mini soft tacos with meat on a serving platter

Spicy pulled pork tacos (215g). Buy from M&S (£7)The smoky meat and well-cooked tacos went brilliantly with the salsas and soured cream. Scatter over some fresh coriander leaves and these could pass as homemade.

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

Taste Awards panel in kitchen

All food was prepared, cooked and presented by independent home economists following specific pack instructions. Judging took place in silence to ensure the panel didn't influence each other and the entire process was overseen by an independent adjudicator. 

Hands cutting into canape

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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