Thursday, December 16, 2010

Marks and Spencer Turkey, Ham, Stuffing and Cranberry Sauce Baguette

(Christmas Sandwich)

JAMES says:

Expectations were high for this one. The buzz in the office had been positive, and there was genuine excitement when it was first spotted for sale. These things literally happened. However something happened to undermine the expected M&S dominance, and that something was plucky newcomer Wenzel. There was nothing intrinsically wrong with the baguette. They had overdone the cranberry sauce so it rather overpowered the other ingredients, but it was a competent little sarnie. But whilst I was eating I couldn’t help but mentally compare it with my former baguette. Whereas Wenzel’s turkey had been moist and fulsome this was a little on the dry side. And do you remember how the crispiness of the bacon melded with fruity cranberry? I’m sorry M&S baguette. I thought I’d moved on but this really isn’t fair on either of us. I don’t know if Wenzel’s will take me back, I have no right to expect it, but I have to try. In fact, I’m pretty sure they will.

I’m sorry Marks and Spencer Turkey, Ham, Stuffing and Cranberry Sauce Baguette. You deserve someone who will appreciate your rather uninspired attempt at a turkey sandwich and it’s just not me.

I hope this doesn’t mean I have to stop seeing your Liebkuchen?


Monday, December 13, 2010

Ginsters Turkey, Bacon & Cranberry Pasty

(Christmas Pasty)

NEILL says:

Ah, Ginsters. It is an inconsequential but pleasing side-effect of having this blog that I know to the day the last time I was foolish enough to eat a Ginster's pasty. (Wednesday, February 18th, 2009. The "New York Style" Steak & Cheese Pasty. Bloody awful, 4/10.) But upon seeing this festive offering on the shelves of our local Londis, how could I resist? Cleary, my duty as a reviewer outweighed all considerations of taste, common sense or intestinal safety.

So, first impressions: cold, flavourless pastry with a texture the word "claggy" could have been coined for. And inside, that unidentifiable grey Matter so familiar to afficionados of the Ginsters range. The packaging claims this to be composed of 'Turkey, Bacon and Cranberry', so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and agree that that's what it was. I didn't see any cranberries in there, that's all I'm saying. The overwhelming flavours one is left with are of Cold Turnip and Cheese, which is slightly worrying as neither of these ingredients are actually listed.

Mmmm, Matter.

More than simply being an unpleasant eating experience - although it was certainly that - this pasty left me genuinely depressed for humanity. Whilst eating it, a vision formed. Of a man, perhaps in his late forties, unshaven, stumbling across a frozen petrol station forecourt somewhere in Britain. He is dressed in stinking, unwashed clothes, but there is no-one left in his life to comment on the smell, and he is too far gone to notice or care himself. He has children, but he has not seen them in years, and indeed between the drinking, the substance abuse and the onset of mental health problems, he can now barely remember their faces. He is alone, forgotten, uncared for by all and certainly by himself. And he staggers home now from the petrol station, back to his frozen, empty bedsit, clutching his reward, this pasty... his Christmas Dinner.

Ginsters Christmas Pasty: The Taste of Human Misery.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Pigs in Blankets Flavour Pringles

(Christmas Crisps)

JAMES says:

It must be tricky to recreate the distinct flavours of both streaky bacon and cocktail sausages in crisp form, which might explain why Pringles have instead decided to recreate the distinct flavour of bacon flavour crisps.


Thursday, December 09, 2010

Wenzel’s Turkey, Stuffing, Cranberry and Bacon Baguette

(Christmas Sandwich)

JAMES says:

You may not have heard of Wenzel’s, if you don’t spend much time between Popiandy’s and the old back entrance to Woolworth’s where the homeless people hang out in Watford. In fact, if you haven’t heard of Wenzel’s it seems unlikely that you will know what Popiandy’s is. Think cut price Wimpey’s. But I digress. The point is, if you don’t spend much time hanging around the grimy end of the Harlequin centre you are missing out on one damn fine Christmas sandwich. The bacon is crisp, the stuffing squidgy, and the authenticity of the flavours can only lead me to think that Mr Wenzel is having daily Christmas dinners just to produce the leftovers needed for this most awesome of baguettes. And all for £2.50!


Friday, December 03, 2010

The Pret-a-Manger Christmas Lunch Sandwich

(Christmas Sandwich)

NEILL says:

On paper it all looked so good. A Christmas Sandwich from Pret - a place where 'making nice sandwiches' is pretty much their whole deal. And indeed, early bites delivered on this promise. Moist, flavoursome turkey and a generous wedge of stuffing, combined with the wholly welcome textural innovation of a scattering of crispy onions. Unfortunately, all of these fine ingredients end up being rather drowned out by the port & cranberry sauce. I don't know if there was slightly too much of the stuff, or if it was just a bit too sweet, but halfway through I was struck by the unpleasant realisation that what I was essentially doing was eating a chicken salad sandwich that someone had put jam in. And there is a reason that 'chicken and jam' is not in the pantheon of classic year-round sandwich combinations.

And, again with the spinach. Who even has spinach as part of their Christmas lunch? NOBODY, THAT'S WHO.