BBC Good Food Christmas Taste Awards 2022
Discover the results of our annual taste test and shop for the best festive buys, including mince pies, cakes, puddings, mains and sides.
From smoked salmon to Christmas cake, our expert panel blind-tasted more than 225 products to find the best UK supermarket buys to grace your table this holiday season. Find out more about the judging process in our Christmas Taste Awards FAQs.
For over 400 buyer’s guides, visit our reviews section, plus see the results of our best Christmas sandwich taste test (from M&S to Pret) and BBC Good Food Drinks Taste Awards. We've also got all the Christmas gifting inspiration you need , like subscription services and hampers, in our gifts hub. See the best letterbox gifts, 50 best budget gifts under £15, best Christmas hampers to buy and much more.
BBC Good Food Christmas Taste Awards 2022
Fish canapés and mains
Best smoked salmon
WINNER: Booths Triple Smoked Salmon Side (£45), 1kg
This impressive whole side has festive wow-factor and a delicious sweet and salty balance, with the perfect level of smoke.
RUNNER-UP: ASDA Ultimate Blackthorne Smoked Salmon (120g), £6
This had prominent smoke and the thick slices had good firm texture. This could be enjoyed alone or also as a canapé on blinis.
RUNNER-UP: Co-op Irresistible Old Pulteney Whisky Smoked Salmon (100g), £5
This had a good level of smoke and mild touch of boozy flavour. It is thinly sliced with a firm a texture and well seasoned, not overpoweringly salty.
Best fish centrepiece
WINNER: Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Scottish Salmon Side (750g), £16
This was very festive with a strong Christmassy glaze that had bold orange flavour, and soft succulent salmon underneath.
Best hot canapé
WINNER: M&S 10 Mini Steak Sandwiches (230g), £7.00
An easy one-bite mouthful, these moreish croutes had a winning combination of crisp toast, sweet onion jam, meat and cheesy topping.
RUNNER UP: Morrisons 6 Corn Dogs with a Honey & Mustard Dipping Sauce (220g), £5
For a novelty canapé, these mini corn dogs were crisp and well-seasoned with a mustard sauce for dipping. Not super high quality, but one for kids to enjoy.
Best cold canapé
WINNER: Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference 2 King Prawn Mocktails (75g), £5
For a starter for two or generous canapé, these Bloody Mary-inspired pots had flavourful plump prawns, creamy mayo and heat from the tomato paprika sauce.
Mains and side dishes
Best turkey centrepiece
WINNER: ASDA Roast in the bag Pork sage and onion tempting Stuffed Turkey Crown (British) with beechwood smoked bacon (1.55kg), £19.95
This turkey crown was kept moist by the enjoyable bacon on top and welcome addition of stuffing inside. The meat had good texture and was well seasoned.
RUNNER UP: Morrisons Turkey Breast Joint with Stuffing Balls and Pigs in Blankets (1.4kg), £20.00
Good for a smaller Christmas meal, judges liked that this came with the extras of moreish herby stuffing balls and pigs in blankets already included. The breast joint is incredibly easy to carve and stayed moist and tender.
RUNNER UP: Booths Easy Carve British Turkey with British Pork, Apple & Cranberry Stuffing (£85)
For a whole turkey option, this impressed with good flavour, pleasant stuffing and an impressive finished look.
Best alternative Christmas mains
JOINT WINNER: Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference British Boneless Rib of beef with Mustard & Horseradish Glaze (1.7kg), £15
Serve beef for Christmas with this impressive centrepiece – the beef was tender and high quality with slight sweetness, and cooked perfectly to instructions.
JOINT WINNER: Waitrose Slow Cooked Ultimate Crackling Pork Belly Feast (1.77kg), £30
Described as ‘everything pork belly should be’ by judges, this had super tender and juicy meat. The accompanying apple sauce has good spicing and is a welcome addition.
WINNER: Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Mulled Cider Glazed Gammon Joint (1.3kg), £15
This had an attractive glaze on top and tender meat underneath. The spices have permeated the meat for plenty of flavour.
RUNNER UP: Tesco Finest Cola Cured Gammon with a treacle spiced glaze (750g), £10
For an alternative to a traditional gammon, we couldn’t resist this decadent cola-cured gammon. Almost in the style of pulled pork, this shredded easily into chunks and had deep savoury flavour throughout and strong savoury glaze – our judges kept going back for more.
Best pigs in blankets
WINNER: Lidl Deluxe Pigs in Blankets
Crisp smoky bacon, a peppery well-seasoned sausage and ideal size made these Christmas dinner staples a clear winner.
Best cranberry sauce
WINNER: Waitrose Cranberry Sauce (300g), £2.25
This punchy sauce had strong spicing levelled out by tart cranberry and plenty of fruit.
RUNNER UP: M&S Cranberry Sauce, £4
For a non-traditional cranberry sauce, judges enjoyed this glossy sweeter and milder sauce. It would be just as good spooned over ice cream as it would be served alongside Christmas dinner, with a loose saucy texture and big juicy cranberries.
WINNER: Iceland Luxury Turkey Gravy (350g),£1.50
Standing out for having the most flavour, this was sweet and herby with a good level of salt.
Vegetarian & vegan mains
Best vegetarian main
WINNER: M&S Rustic Potato, Caramelised Onion and Brie Pie (500g), £8
This rich crowd-pleasing pie had a crisp flaky crust and ‘stunningly cheesy’ filling with perfectly tender potatoes and sweet onions.
Best vegan main
WINNER: ASDA Extra Special Vegan Wellington (500g), £5
Reminding judges of a vegan sausage roll, this had crisp pastry and a herby, moist filling with good overall flavour and texture.
Puddings & cakes
Best Christmas cake
WINNER: Waitrose No. 1 Rich Fruit Cake (1.5kg), £18.50
Perfectly balanced, this had an elegant design, thin marzipan and firm icing. The moist cake has cinnamon and citrus notes and plenty of juicy fruit.
RUNNER UP: LIDL Deluxe Luxury All Over Iced Christmas Cake
If you like your Christmas cake generously soaked with festive alcohol, this is the choice for you. The cake had good depth of flavour (undeniably boozy!) and was very moist, surrounded by soft sweet icing.
Best Yule log
WINNER: M&S Collection Crackling Chocolate Logs (1.33kg), £20
Judges loved the fun design and popping candy top – kids would love it and with three yule logs in one, this would feed easily a crowd.
RUNNER UP: ASDA Extra Special Yule Log (750g), £9
This had a light and cakey sponge that almost tasted homemade. It was a generous size and had good deep chocolate flavour and light, moussey filling.
Best Christmas pudding
WINNER: M&S Collection Perfectly Matured Cherry & Orange Wreath (907g), £12
Bold citrus flavour added to the standout fruitiness of this special pudding, which was impressively light and had good crunch from nuts.
RUNNER-UP: Morrisons the Best Christmas Pudding (800g), £8
For a more classic option, this soft textured pudding was balanced by good crunch from whole nuts and was not too boozy.
Best showstopper desserts
JOINT WINNER: Morrisons the Best Passion Fruit Panna Cotta Star (651g), £7
Light and delicate with a kick of pure tropical flavour, judges loved this as a simple and light way to finish a big Christmas meal.
JOINT WINNER: Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Festive Belgian Chocolate and Salted Caramel Wreath (650g), £12
Easy to serve and impressive to share, judges enjoyed the creamy salted caramel filling and pretty design of this choux pastry dessert.
RUNNER UP: Tesco Finest Caramel Cascade Cake (850g), £12.50
A rich winter warmer, this indulgent cake was undeniably rich. The dense cake was almost pudding like and reminded judges of school dinner cake (in a good way!) and sticky toffee pudding. The two sauces get a bit lost when mixed together as instructed, but would be nice served separately.
Best budget dessert
WINNER: Co-op Irresistible Nuts About Chocolate Star (571g), £6
Incredibly impressive for the price, this looks really pretty and luxurious. The layers inside are sweet with good contrast – thick chocolate, creamy mousse and whole peanuts.
RUNNER-UP: Tesco Finest Frozen Salted Caramel Millionaire Choux wreath (472g), £6.50
This looks very attractive with lovely decadent decoration. The salted caramel cream inside was good, the chocolate adds sweetness and the pastry had a good texture, if a little dense rather than crisp.
Best vegan dessert
WINNER: Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Quadruple Chocolate Cookie No-Cheesecake (500g), £10
Indulge with this vegan cheesecake: it impressed with a thick crunchy base, good chocolate flavour and creamy filling that was not too sweet.
Best classic mince pies
WINNER: M&S 6 Collection Mince Pies (334g), £3
Judges liked the buttery pastry, pretty design and good pastry to filling ratio of these pies. The mincemeat was plump and juicy with strong clementine flavour.
RUNNER UP: Waitrose No. 1 6 Brown Butter Mince Pies, £3.50
These look and taste homemade with crisp pastry and simple caster sugar sprinkle on top. The mincemeat inside was plump and jammy.
RUNNER UP: Asda extra special mince pies (340g), £2.50
These felt luxurious: a deep shape filled with a rich and fruity mincemeat. There was a nice bit of booze and lots of currants. The pastry had a good snap and the star-topped design is simple.
Best flavoured mince pies
WINNER: Aldi Specially Selected Rum & Salted Caramel Mince Pies, £2.29 (6-pack)
A luxurious salted caramel filling made these pies stand out – plus thin pastry, a nutty topping for crunch and plenty of classic juicy fruit.
RUNNER UP: Morrisons the Best Billionaires Mince Pies (4 pack), £2.25
A great alternative to a traditional mince pie, these were messy to eat but an indulgent sweet treat, with lots of chocolate and caramel.
Best gluten-free mince pies
WINNER: M&S 4 Made Without Wheat Gluten Free Mince Pies (4-pack), £3
Buttery and tender pastry is impressive in a gluten-free mince pie, whilst the traditional filling was well spiced with a good kick.
RUNNER UP: ASDA Free From Extra Special Mini Mince Pies (pack of six), £2
These pretty mini mince pies had good mincemeat with a boozy kick. The pastry is good to begin with but left a slight powdery aftertaste.
WINNER: M&S Collections Stollen Loaf, £7
A generous swirl of marzipan runs throughout this loaf giving strong almond flavour and soft texture, balanced by crunchy flaked almonds on the outside.
RUNNER UP: No.1 Waitrose Cherry & Amaretto Stollen (585g), £10
This had a pleasing open bready texture studded with plenty of sour red cherries to balance the sweetness – a Bakewell fan’s dream. It had a good ratio of marzipan and slices neatly for serving.
WINNER: Tesco Finest tiramisu panettone (750g), £10
Chocolate fans will love this twist on a classic panettone – this was generously filled with chocolate chips and was soft and moreish.
RUNNER-UP: Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Cherry & Almond Panettone (750g), £10
This had a lovely crunchy topping with whole almonds. Inside were a good amount of juicy sour cherries and the panettone dough itself offered a good buttery flavour and hint of vanilla.
The judging process
We invited 13 supermarkets to enter their best Christmas products for consideration across 23 categories. All food was prepared and cooked following pack instructions, then presented to our panel by two independent home economists. Packaging was removed and judges tasted all items blind. Judges submitted their comments and a score out of 10 for each product in the category via anonymous online forms.
In addition to the winning products here, the judging team also awarded ‘runners-up’ to high-scoring favourites that they felt also deserved recognition.
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