Turner & George Copas Bronze Turkey
£15 per kg, selfridges.com
Not too dry. Smells lovely. Not a punchy turkey, but a good flavour.
Asda Extra Special Corn-Fed Bronze Turkey
See in-store for price, asda.com
The texture of the breast meat is fantastic, but the leg is a bit tasteless.
Rumburgh Farm Dry Hung Bronze Turkey
4kg-5.99kg, £44.99 each, aldi.co.uk
Moist, I can see the juices. As a whole it’s not bad. On first slice, it had potential but…
Waitrose Dry Hung Bronze Turkey
£12.99 per kg, waitrose.com
Tastes more like chicken! It eats well, but doesn’t have the flavour I’m looking for. ★★★
Marks & Spencer Roasted Butternut, Almond & Pecan Nut Roast
600g, £7, marksandspencer.com
Christmassy flavours. Lovely textures. That’s a killer.
BEST BUY ★★★★
Artisan Grains Country Veg Nut Roast
200g, £2.50, ocado.com
Could do with sauce. Almost tastes like stuffing. Not bad – some flavour.
Asda Spiced Pumpkin & Nut Loaf with Maple Shallot Gravy
400g, £2.50, asda.com
Looks like cooked concrete. Very dry. The sauce is sour.
Iceland Luxury Parsnip & Chestnut Roast with Mulled Wine Sauce
400g, £1.99, iceland.co.uk
Not impressed. I’m not getting any nuts, just root veg.
Paxo Sage & Onion Stuffing
190g, £1.20, ocado.com The texture’s about right – not too wet, not too firm. Could do with more seasoning.
Marks & Spencer Sage & Onion Stuffing
680g, £6, marksandspencer.com
Quite garlicky, slightly over-seasoned. It could be a little wetter.
Waitrose Sage & Onion Stuffing
225g, £2.69, waitrose.com
Very, very dry. Really salty. The flavour isn’t bad, but it doesn’t have any punch.
Asda Chosen by You Sage & Onion Stuffing Mix
170g, 40p, asda.com
It smells awful. I can taste sage and it’s moist, but pretty horrible.
Truefoods Turkey Gravy
250g, £2.99, ocado.com
Slightly bitter. It pours well. I’m getting a meaty, roasted flavour.
Deluxe British Turkey Gravy with Thyme, Sage & Madeira Wine
500g, £1.49, lidl.co.uk
It has a true turkey-gravy taste, but pale in colour.
Tesco Finest Turkey Gravy
350ml, £1.50, tesco.com
Almost tastes burnt. Very thick. You’ve got meat, but too much flour.
Heston from Waitrose Turkey, Sage & Onion Gravy
200g, £2.69, waitrose.com
No, no, no… Why would you have onions? I’d never have that in my gravy. Incredibly sweet.
TrueFoods Bread Sauce
250g, £2.49, ocado.com
I can taste the bay leaf, which is nice. The bread flavour is coming through.
Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Buttered Bread Sauce
300g, £2, sainsburys.co.uk
Very creamy. High level of salt. I can’t really taste the bread… it’s a bit more floury. ★★★
Tesco Finest Bread Sauce
300g, see in-store for price, tesco.com
A deep bread flavour. The texture is OK. Very salty.
Aldi Specially Selected Bread Sauce
300g, £1.49, aldi.co.uk
The texture isn’t great – it’s coarse. I can’t taste any aromats; an oniony aftertaste.
Tesco Redcurrant Jelly 340g, 85p, tesco.com
Not too solid or too sweet. I could eat that with my turkey, easy.
Tiptree Red Currant Jelly
340g, £2.19, redmoped.co.uk
Set well – it has a good wobble. I can actually taste the currant in there.
The Bay Tree Redcurrant Jelly
227g, £2.99, waitrose.com
Looks more like blackcurrant. Quite acidic. More solid than a normal jelly.
Marks & Spencer Redcurrant Jelly
215g, 95p, marksandspencer.com
Far too much sugar – you wouldn’t know it was redcurrant.
Rated by Patricia Nicholson of La Fromagerie
Godminster Vintage Organic Cheddar
200g, £4.99, ocado.com
The perfect stocking filler. Good cheddar taste. Nice tang at the end.
Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference English Vintage Reserve Cheddar
250g, £2.75, sainsburys.co.uk
Salty and sharp, lacks chewiness. A little bite to it.
Waitrose Cornish Cheddar Vintage, Strength 7
350g, £4, waitrose.com
A pleasant simple cheddar. Quite sharp. Nice with chutney.
Tesco Finest Vintage English Cheddar
250g, £3, tesco.com
It’s got sharpness and acidity, but it doesn’t taste like cheddar. Quite unpleasant. ★★
Asda Extra Special Camembert de Pays
250g, £1.94, asda.com
Nice and soft at the edges, but its heart is just holding together. Classic flavours. ★★★
Reflets de France Camembert de Normandie
250g, £4.20, ocado.com
I like the rind – it’s staying nice and close. A very flat flavour. Verging on being OK. ★★★
Harrods Xavier David Camembert
250g, £7.25, harrods.com
Very soft throughout. Smells of cow’s bottom. Some may like it, but I find it a bit too much.
Tesco Finest Camembert
250g, £2.25, tesco.com
Peculiar… It smells like bacon. Too creamy, too melty, it just tastes of rich butteriness.
Asda Extra Special Tuxford & Tebbutt Blue Stilton
200g, £1.80, asda.com
Lovely yellowness. That’s a classic. The blue goes all the way to the edge. The best by far.
BEST BUY ★★★★★
Paxton & Whitfield Cropwell Bishop Stilton
£24 per kg, paxtonandwhitfield.co.uk
Nutty, very salty. I can see this satisfying the blokes. A bit too overpowering.
Morrisons M Signature Mature Blue Stilton
200g, £2, morrisons.com
There’s a bitterness to the flavour. Very mediocre, but it’s not bad…
Waitrose Colston Bassett Blue Stilton, Strength 5
£18.99 per kg, waitrose.com
Aggressive in flavour. A sad case.
Neal’s Yard Creamery Ragstone Log
200g, £6.95, selfridges.com
A classic. The rind adheres to the cheese. Eat the rind for more taste. Let down a bit by the end.
Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference French Goats’ Cheese
120g, £2, sainsburys.co.uk
A very nasty peel-away rind. At least it’s got some goaty taste. Not bad… a bit lardy.
Marks & Spencer Kidderton Ash Goats’ Cheese
130g, £3.90, marksandspencer.com
It doesn’t have any of that goaty gaminess. Quite dense. Middle of the road.
Petit Chebra French Goats’ Cheese
180g, £1.49, lidl.co.uk
Inside it’s still quite wet . There’s a bitterness which isn’t helped by the rind.
Selfridges Selection Artisan Boxing Day Chutney
220g, £6.99, selfridges.com
Quite elegant. A Christmassy feel, but not overpowering with spices.
Tracklements Christmas Spice Chutney Le Parfait
300g, £5.45, tracklements.co.uk
Very mustardy. It could be nice with cold cuts.
Fortnum & Mason Christmas Cranberry & Apricot Chutney
325g, £5.95, fortnumandmason.com
Overpowering. It tastes like there’s too much spice in it.
Marks & Spencer Winter Warming Chutney
300g, £2.50, marksandspencer.com
Tastes like they’ve put a herb in it that doesn’t work at all. Not to my taste.
Biscuits for cheese
Fortnum & Mason Biscuits for Cheese Selection Box
300g, £4.95, fortnumandmason.com
Traditional. Hints of sweet or salt. They go with everything. ★★★★
Marks & Spencer Biscuits for Cheese Tin
450g, £9, marksandspencer.com
Quite cheesy already. The roasted onion might go with a cheddar. Delicate flavours.
Co-operative Truly Irresistible Biscuits for Cheese
300g, £3, co-operativefood.co.uk
I don’t see the point of having a rosemary biscuit with cheese. A biscuit shouldn’t overpower.
Selfridges Selection Savoury Biscuit Collection
520g, £15.99, selfridges.com
Some of these are too salty. They look pretty, but aren’t giving me anything.
Rated by Sweetheart Laboratory’s Hideko Kawa
Marks & Spencer Belgian Cocoa Dusted Truffles
152g, £6, marksandspencer.com
Really chocolatey – nutty and fruity. The ganache is firm, but smooth. High cocoa content.
Waitrose Seriously Milk Chocolate Truffles
200g, £5.99, waitrose.com
Some alcohol taste. Very, very thin chocolate shell. The cocoa powder is a nice contrast.
Tesco Finest Swiss Milk Chocolate Truffles
180g, £3.50, tesco.com
Milky, caramelly taste, not too sweet. Really soft ganache inside.
Thorntons Irresistible Belgian Chocolate Truffles
220g, £6, thorntons.co.uk
Sweetness dominates. Shame – it’s not bad chocolate.
Luxury salted caramels
Artisan du Chocolat Sea Salted Caramels
140g, £15.25, harveynichols.com
The strong bitter chocolate cuts through the sweet caramel. Well balanced.
Paul A Young Salted Caramels
£15.50 for 9 pieces, paulayoung.co.uk
Amazingly thin shells. Full of caramel … it’s a bit grainy. Some air bubbles in the chocolate.
Selfridges Selection British Artisan Salted Caramel Chocolate Collection
76g, £14.99, selfridges.com
Chocolate has a nice bitterness. Not salty enough.
Fortnum & Mason Sea Salted Caramel Truffle Drum
250g, £25, fortnumandmason.com
It’s really runny. Very thick shells, very sweet chocolate.
Clotted cream fudge
Hope & Greenwood Clotted Cream Fudge
150g, £3.49, waitrose.com
Caramelised milk taste. A little crystallisation, sandy sugar texture.
Highgrove Clotted Cream Fudge 100g, £2.95, fortnumandmason.com
Smooth texture. Tastes of sugar more than clotted cream … overly sweet.
Crabtree & Evelyn Handmade Clotted Cream Fudge
150g, £5, johnlewis.com
There’s a fudginess from the cream. Looks crumbly, but it’s not too dry.
Tesco Finest Cornish Clotted Cream Fudge
150g, £1.99, tesco.com
I thought this would be less sweet as it’s darker caramel, but it’s very sweet – overpowering.
Rose and lemon Turkish delight
Favorina Rose & Lemon Turkish Delight
300g, £1.59, lidl.co.uk
The lemon has a lot of flavour. The rose, a rose-tea taste. Texture-wise, it’s the best.
Waitrose Rose & Lemon Turkish Delight
400g, £5.35, waitrose.com
The rose tastes very strong and a bit like honey. The lemon is nothing special.
Marks & Spencer Rose & Lemon Turkish delight
350g, £2.70, marksandspencer.com
Neat. This sticky texture is nice – chewy. Both flavours have quite a flat taste. It’s OK.
Harrods Rose & Lemon Turkish Delight
325g, £7.50, harrods.com
Really dry on the outside. The lemon tastes strange. The texture is unusual – stretchy.
Selection boxes under £10
Co-Operative Truly Irresistible Chocolate Selection
170g, £5, co-operativefood.co.uk
They look like Christmas tree ornaments. All milk. Soft; thick shells. Not such good chocolate.
Aldi Swiss Chocolate Selection
300g, £4.99, aldi.co.uk
So many! Such value! Very pretty. Inventive shapes. The dark rose is the best.
Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Belgian Chocolate Assortment
400g, £10, sainsburys.co.uk
Not fantastic. Some strange flavourings but incredible value.
Waitrose Christmas Signature Spice Chocolate Collection
110g, £7, waitrose.com
Some are good, others – oh so sweet! Not evenly made.
Selection boxes over £10
Rococo Round Box No. 1 200g,
A lot of work in the different components and finishing. Clean and very elegant.
BEST BUY ★★★★★
Selfridges Selection Edited Chocolate Collection
£24.99 for 27 pieces, selfridges.com
Very pretty. This feels handmade. A lot of detail and variety flavour-wise.
Chococo Large Selection Box
£18.95 for 25 pieces, chococo.co.uk
Quality of chocolate is OK, but not well tempered. Wacky flavours. A surprise …
Prestat Red Christmas Chocolate Box
325g, £26, prestat.co.uk
Shells are too thick. The actual chocolate work isn’t great.
Cakes and puddings
Tested by Bread Ahead’s Justin Gellatly
Selfridges Selection Speciality Mince Pies
£7.99 for 4, selfridges.com
Good bake, homemade looking. Lovely biscuity pastry. Packed with fruit.
Asda Extra Special Luxury Mince Pies
£1.89 for 6, asda.com
Smells buttery. There’s a roundness of flavour, a little spice. A good bit of fruit in that.
Tesco Finest Mince Pies
£2 for 6, tesco.com
The pastry is bland. The incemeat has a heavy flavour of mixed peel. Extremely sweet.
Harvey Nichols Large Mince Pies
£5.95 for 4, harveynichols.com
Very thick pastry. The pastry is biscuity (not a bad thing), but the filling is awful – a disgrace.
Tesco Finest Panettone
750g, £8, tesco.com
Nice singe. A good weight to it. It’s moist and there’s a gentle hint of spice. Delicious!
BEST BUY ★★★★★
Flamigni Panettone Artigianale Milano Basso
1kg, £22, linastores.co.uk
Lots of chunks of peel. Lovely and buttery.
Asda Extra SpecialItalian Classic Panettone
750g, £4, asda.com
Mean on the fruit and there’s a lack of spice. Very bland, but still moist.
Carluccio’s Panettone Tradizionale
1kg, £16.95, carluccios.com
A sort of amaretti topping. Why? Lots of fruit; lacks character.
Waitrose Christmas Signature Spice Rich Fruit Cake
1.3kg, £15, waitrose.com
Looks great; love it. Lots of fruit, moist, gentle spicing.
Aldi Specially Selected Exquisite Christmas Cake
1.5kg, £9.99, aldi.co.uk
Glamorous. BIG aroma of booze – overpowers a bit. Moist and crumbly.
Iceland Luxury Christmas Cake
1kg, £6.49, iceland.co.uk
Simple, pretty. Underwhelming in flavour. Mean on icing; a little dry.
Harrods Christmas Cake Infused With Courvoisier VSOP Cognac
1.3kg, £24.95, harrods.com
I’m not getting any booze, just bitterness. Good icing.
Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Amontillado Sherry Trifle
900g, £8, sainsburys.co.uk
Nice toasted nuts. The sponge is well soaked with sherry and the custard is thick.
Waitrose Seriously Raspberry and Sherry Trifle
1.1kg, £9.99, waitrose.com
Rich delicious cream on top. Pleasant flavour of raspberries. Lacking nuts and booze.
Marks & Spencer Raspberry Sherry Trifle
1.1kg, £10, marksandspencer.com
A little aroma of sherry. Quite bland. The fruit is more like jam than compote.
Asda Extra Special Sherry Trifle
850g, £3.50, asda.com
Untoasted nuts. Good layers but anaemic custard. Can’t taste sherry; watery sponge.
Chocolate yule logs
Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Chocolate Bûche de Noël
800g, £10, sainsburys.co.uk
Glossy, Christmassy. I like the biscuit bottom. A mousse rather than a log.
Marks & Spencer Collection Tree Trunk Yule Log
880g, £20, marksandspencer.com
I love the look of this. Very sweet. Good ratio of sponge, but disappointing flavour.
Aldi Specially Selected Chocolate Praline Yule Log
944g, £5.99, aldi.co.uk
Like a traditional Swiss roll. All a bit overly sweet. No punch of nice chocolate.
Tesco Finest Chocolate Yule Log
Serves 8, £3, tesco.com
That sponge is like eating carpet. Very bland, no real chocolate taste.
Iceland Luxury 9 Months Matured Christmas Pudding
454g, £2.99, iceland.co.uk
Good booze flavour. Dark, rich, moist, full of plump fruit.
Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference 18 Month Matured Pudding
450g, £6, sainsburys.co.uk
Lovely aroma, but chunks of nuts overpower. A bit sweet, sickly.
Daylesford Organic Christmas Pudding
900g, £20, daylesford.com
I like the traditional shape. Smells gorgeous – orangey. Way too much cinnamon.
Co-Operative Truly Irresistible Christmas Pudding
454g, £3, co-operativefood.co.uk
Quite dull and unappealing. It’s very sweet, while lacking in spice and zest.