‘Tis the season to finally be jolly – after Christmas was cancelled last year because of Covid.
That means ‘tis the season to catch up with friends and family, eat and drink everything in sight, and do nothing more than watch some TV specials in your pyjamas and cast an eye over a jigsaw puzzle.
In anticipation, this also means ‘tis the season to trudge to the supermarket in a lunch break, grab one of the festive sandwiches on offer and trudge back to your office/ work from home office (bed) throughout the whole of December.
Yes, what it really is is Christmas sandwich season and supermarkets have more than cottoned on to the success of their festive offerings. Now, as well as traditional turkey sandwiches, the salespeople at Big Supermarket try to shove pigs and blanket sarnies, boxing day baps and all matter of tenuous festive (ish) stuff wrapped in slightly different packaging down our eager tinsel-wrapped throats.
So, here’s a ranking of a few – because if we tried all of them we would be utterly sick at the mention of cranberry sauce before December even begins. After all, Sainsbury’s even do festive sushi which the less we say about the better.
M&S is no stranger to a strong Christmas sandwich and this year’s offering will tide you over nicely as foreplay to the main event on Christmas day.
Stuffed with turkey, stuffing, bacon, mayo and cranberry sauce, the sandwich manages to smash the ratios of each ingredient while still allowing munchers to enjoy the malted bread as something in its own right rather than packaging to hold it all together.
However, the cranberry sauce is ridiculously sweet – almost sickly so – and is more reminiscent of UTI-busting medicine than a delicious condiment, making the sandwich lose points.
And while Christmas is about decadence, even the most carnivorous among us like to pay lip service to vegetables once in a while, and a lack of spinach, rocket, or some other salady item left the sarnie lacking a certain something.
Waitrose Christmas Turkey, Stuffing & Bacon, 7/10
Also filled with the usual suspects – turkey, stuffing, bacon, mayo and cranberry sauce – Waitrose’s offering falls victim to the opposite problems to M&S’s.
The cranberry sauce is delicious, but there’s not enough of it, meaning every glimpse of it leaves you crying out for more. There’s not enough mayo, either, so the sandwich is a pretty dry and dense affair, and might make a good paperweight.
The meat is as good as it gets though, and the bread too, so overall it’s a decent stab at some festive munch and we wouldn’t turn it down.
Eggslut Christmas Sandwich, 9/10
Now we’re talking. This eggy-themed sandwich more than hits the spot thanks to its combo of a turkey and sage burger patty, cranberry sauce, rocket salad and a fried egg.
As well as providing the salad we’ve been crying out for, the fillings are well-rationed, with an almost spicy patty making it extra delish.
The cranberry sauce is incredibly sweet – almost like jam – but the bitter rocket balances it out so it’s no great problem.
Other than that, the egg and silky brioche bun aren’t exactly traditional so the sandwich feels a more artisan affair than the comforting festive stodge dished out in supermarkets.
Sainsbury’s Turkey Feast, 6/10
This was the worst sarnie yet, but let’s start with the good points.
The texture was nice and the bacon was crisp. The granary bread was decent as well and there was a decent smear of mayo.
But that’s about it. Other than that, I crunched upon bits of gristle, mushy stuffing and could find barely a skidmark of cranberry sauce.
But the biggest issue with the sandwich was that it was bland. And at a time of global pandemic, in which a virus which that sometimes causes the infected to lose their sense of taste and smell is ripping through nations, creating bland food isn’t just disappointing, but socially irresponsible too.
It’s a no.
Tesco Turkey & Trimmings Sandwich, 7/10
Everyone knows the best part of a Christmas dinner is pigs in blankets, so having a festive sandwich with sausages in it is incredibly welcome.
The sandwich is hefty with nice bread and generous fillings, and everything plays its part.
It’s also mayonnaise heavy – so much so that I couldn’t even taste the cranberry sauce. To many, that would be off-putting, but as someone who believes that there’s no such thing as too much mayo, bring it on.
So it’s Eggslut that takes the crown and Sainsbury’s that needs to do some serious work.