Top five shop-bought starters and canapés for Christmas 2014

Over five weeks, the BBC Good Food team blind-tasted hundreds of supermarket products to create the ultimate best buys collection. Discover our pick of the best nibbles, smoked salmon and starters.

Best…  Budget smoked salmon

Lidl
Lidl smoked Scottish salmon 

This fish has been cut fairly thickly. It’s pale in colour and has a subtle smokiness, which would work well as a starter or canapé. At such a low price it’s an absolute steal. 

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£2.65, from Lidl

Best… Premium range smoked salmon

Marks and Spencer salmon
M&S Scottish smoked black treacle-cured salmon 

Rich and sweet-tasting salmon, with nice depth and an attractive dark colour. Not overly smoky, but still an interesting flavour.

£9, from M&S

Best… Lazy starter

Co-op cheese
Co-op baking Camembert with red onion chutney 

A large cheese that melts down to a thick, dippable sauce, and comes in its own case, ready to bake. The chutney is tasty and not too sweet, so all in all a balanced and hearty festive cheese.

£5, from Co-op
 

Best… On-trend canapé

M&S American-style BBQ pulled pork stacks

Pulled pork has been one of the breakout dishes of 2014 and these cute bites are right on-trend. The little squares of toasted brioche are topped with a slice of cheese and sticky pulled pork, then finished with a tangy red pepper pearl.

£7 for 10, from M&S
 

Best… Vegetarian nibble

Waitrose paneer and coriander bites

These vibrant, fragrant green triangles taste light and are an inventive alternative to the standard party offering.

£5.99, from Waitrose

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For more taste-tested products, equipment rundowns and buying advice, visit our review section, plus our Christmas kitchen contains everything you’ll ever need for perfect festive feasting.