Monday, November 29, 2010

Morrisons’ Christmas Dinner Pizza

(Christmas Pizza)

JAMES says:

Only 2 reviews in and already the rule book is out the window! Not that there is a world of difference between the modern sandwich and pizza, both being doughy arrangements existing to showcase the ingenuity, or lack thereof, of the additional ingredients. The Unified Review Theory overview of Christmas snacks is a broad church and does not discriminate against any as long as they contain turkey and stuffing.

It must have been an exciting moment in the Morrison’s food labs when they squared the circle of how to combine Christmas with pizzas. This they did by adding the key ingredients of a Christmas dinner, namely cooked turkey, stuffing, bacon, cranberry, cheddar cheese and tomato sauce, to a pizza base. The genius, you see, is in the simplicity. The finished article is maybe less than the sum of its parts, and those parts are fairly lacklustre to begin with, but you have to reward their demented genius.

Better still was the cheese board pizza, but that is a whole other review.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Starbucks 'Turkey Feast' Sandwich

(Christmas Sandwich)


December! When the shelves of our nation's supermarkets, coffee shops, petrol stations and pharmacists fill up with that most deliciously festive of foodstuffs, the Christmas Sandwich! Indeed, the sheer preponderence of competing Christmas Sandwiches may seem bewildering to the uninitiated consumer. If only - if ONLY - there were some way to gain an objective and thoughtful comparison of the numerous varieties of Christmas Sandwich available, in order to make an informed and correct decision about which Christmas Sandwich to eat.

Thankfully, Unified Review Theory has returned for it's latest and most socially useful undertaking to date - The Grand Christmas Sandwich Review, 2010. As part of this project, Neill and James Cameron will set about the difficult and thankless task of eating a whole bunch of Christmas Sandwiches, from all the leading high street retailers, and telling you which one is best.

We begin our noble humanitarian undertaking with the Starbucks 'Turkey Feast', an appropriate starting point in that it exemplifies perfectly the standard attributes of the typical British High Street Christmas Sandwich. The basic elements of Christmas Sandwichiness are there - Turkey breast and stuffing, along with a selection of standard sandwich ingredients to round out the proposition - in this case mayonnaise, beechwood smoked bacon and baby spinach leaves. And there in a nutshell you have it all; both the glory of the Christmas Sandwich and the inevitable mild disappointment of these prepackaged homogenised commercial versions. The True Christmas Sandwich - the sandwich you actually make with leftovers of your Christmas dinner - is, as all right-thinking gourmands realise, the Single Greatest Foodstuff God Ever Bequeathed Onto His Creation. The sheer glory of the True Christmas Sandwich makes me indirectly grateful for the existence of Christianity. And yet all commercially available Christmas Sandwiches can only ever be a pale reflection of this glory. In an attempt to pander to the mass market, they tone down the sandwich's noble excesses and substitute bland conformity. For example, what is mayonnaise doing in this sandwich when everyone knows that Cold Leftover Gravy makes a far finer condiment. And I submit that no-one has ever made themselves a nice sandwich with the remnants of their Christmas dinner and thought, you know what? This would be better with a bit of spinach in.

Still, for all that: it was okay. Better than most Starbucks sandwiches, but doomed by its nature to remind one of the far, far greater sandwich that awaits us all in a mere month's time.

Bit dry, maybe. Could have used a little extra seasoning.