The Mince Pie Roundup
Published: 24th December 2010 | Source: Voltmodded Pastries | Price: £1 - £3 |
The final phase of our testing involved tasting all three brands with two different brandy sauces from Tesco and Marks & Spencer.
The Tesco mince pie was of surprisingly good quality on the whole. While the pastry was a little too thick and drier than necessary, the contents were enjoyable. This was made MILES better with the addition of Brandy Sauce, which compensated for the sample's lack of alcohol. Tesco's own brandy sauce was near spot on however M&S's mixture tasted considerably richer.
On the whole, its hard to complain about Tesco's sub £1.50 christmas dessert. Those who aren't overly particular about subtle taste differences will find this to be an excellent Bang per Buck choice.
Despite being a branded product, we were a little disappointed to find that it was hardly any better than Tesco's own brand. That said, the pastry was marginally superior in texture but sadly it lost out again in the filling department. Much like Tesco's product, you will most certainly want to include brandy sauce with your purchase to compensate for the cheaper filling.
All in all not a bad job.
The Marks & Spencer Mini Mince Pies do not offer value for money in any way. On the other hand any dessert connoisour will notice a remarkable difference between these and the former two brands. Not only was the all butter pastry more "complete", the filling offered a greater blend of flavours thanks to the hints of port and brandy.
Finally the use of Brandy Sauce made the Marks & Spencer product simply miles ahead of the competition. The way we see it, you will be filling the final inches of belly real estate with these treats; why oh why would you want to compromise? After all, Christmas only comes along once a year.
So to summarise, if Value For Money goodness is your intention, opt for Tesco's own brand. If you are after anything superior then it is the Marks & Spencer Mince Pie range, end of.
Special mentions go out to our sample Brandy Sauces from Tesco and M&S. You cannot go wrong with either.
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas from Overclock3D! You can discuss all about your festive plans in the forums.