Budget Brand Christmas – taste test part one

I’ve been busy trying out my budget brand Christmas goodies, as purchased from Aldi, Lidl and Asda. As somebody who loves dessert best, I decided to trial the mince pies and Christmas puds first, so I’m feeling a bit bloated now.

First up were the Asda mince pies. Now, I love my mince pies best nicely warmed, so I gave mine a quick 10 second zap in the microwave as recommended on the packet. When it came out it began to fall apart immediately, so perhaps this was a bit too long. The pastry was a bit crumbly in texture and the pie was very sweet. Not bad for the price – six for 85p – I thought, but I felt as though something was slightly missing from it. Reading the packet I also realised I’d added another 222 calories to my waistline too. Oops.

It was a relief trying out the Aldi ‘Holly Lane’ mini mince pies, as these were only 74 calories a pop. I decided not to zap these ones in case they disappeared altogether, so I ate mine cold. The pastry was a bit dry and the mincemeat was incredibly sweet. Now, I’ve got a really sweet tooth but it was too sweet for me really, and afterwards even when I’d had a cup of tea to drink I could still taste it in my mouth. But not bad for 99p – you get nine and one or two would probably be more than enough. Both Aldi and Asda’s mince pies say they’re suitable for vegetarians, by the way.

Feeling rather fat already, I loosened my belt another notch and made a beeline for my Asda Smart Brand Christmas pud. This one is the cheapest of the three I’m sampling, at a credit crunch busting 96p, so I wondered what on earth it would taste like. To be honest I was relieved. As it finished going round in the microwave, the smells in the kitchen were undoubtedly those of a Christmas pud cooking. I could almost hear the sound of carols playing (and family members arguing) and believe it was Christmas Day. OK, so it didn’t look quite as appetising as other puds I’ve sampled over the years, and there’s not a huge amount of flavour to it – I tested it without cream or custard because I didn’t want to skew the results. However, it’s quite palatable and not sickly at all, although it is a little dry. So if you added some custard or something on the side I’m sure it would improve the flavour.

Sorry, but you’ll have to wait next week to hear how Asda’s pud compares to Aldi’s and Lidl’s as I’m feeling much too full up now to bear anymore Christmas food! Have to go and lie down…Have a great weekend, Piper xxx

Where will you be buying your Christmas pudding from this year?

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5 Responses to Budget Brand Christmas – taste test part one

  1. Christine says:

    Dear Piper,You will never make a sales lady will you? You\’re much too exacting to be able to tell anyone to have a packet of these and take another for your friend at the price she says laughing. Accurate reporting has nothing to do with selling products!!!!!I spent yesterday evening making a vegetarian Christmas pudding for the daughter\’s family and very nice it did smell. It\’s one that doesn\’t need making far in advance and is now tucked in the fridge till it is collected. Best with cream or ice cream this one.

  2. Shirley says:

    The cheapest mince pies are the ones you make yourself. They are ridiculously easy to make (yes, even the mincemeat) and also taste about 100x better than any you can buy in the shops. I will be making a huge batch this year and giving them as gifts to family & friends for Christmas. Two birds, one stone and all that.

  3. piper says:

    Beginning to think you are probably right! And what a great idea for a gift. No Christine – I\’ve never worked in retail. I\’d be pretty hopeless! Veggie pudding sounds delicious…you are making me feel hungry again now…

  4. Technogran says:

    I won\’t be buying any now that I can\’t tolerate any gluten or wheat, and K is not a pudding fan (well not unless its \’death by chocolate\’ or some other sickly chocolate cake. Nor the mince pies either! Don\’t know about you having a lie down, perhaps with al those calories you have now devoured, a run around the block to work it all off might be more appropriate! 😉

  5. Judith says:

    My fella bought some gluten and wheat free mince pies from Tesco to take into work. He always buys the cakes and one of the girls can never have one due to her intolerences. He thought this might make up for it. Yes, you guessed it…….. she doesn\’t like mince pies! Back to the drawing board. He said they didn\’t taste right \’cos there was too much missing! Any suggestions?

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