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The perfect Christmas dinner: Aldi's Christmas pudding and Morrisons' Stilton crowned some of best festive trimmings

Nicola McCafferty
Yahoo Lifestyle
29 October 2013

It's arguably one of the most expensive times of year, but it seems there really are some ways you can save and still have a truly delicious Christmas dinner.

Budget supermarkets Aldi and Morrisons have come out on top in a blind taste test for the perfect Christmas pudding and Stilton - beating the likes of luxury brands Harrods and Fortnum & Masons.

Judged by a raft of food experts, Morrisons' Signature Stilton was crowned the big cheese while Harrods and Fortnums' versions came in at a disappointing 13th and 14th respectively.

And when it came to Christmas pudding Aldi was king, managing to achieve winner and runner up by beating everyone from Heston’s Hidden Chocolate pudding to Harrods and Fortnums.

In the Good Housekeeping's annual test of 165 festive foods, experts ate and drank their way across 13 categories - including turkey and all the trimmings, champagne, smoked salmon and mince pies.

And the results revealed that we don't all need to break the bank by plumping for the most luxury brands to get the most delicious Christmas meal this year.

A whole host of supermarkets saw themselves make the shortlist across the categories too, with the likes of ASDA making a splash in the champagne category; The Co-operative Truly Irresistible winning best bargain buy for their Whisky Smoked Scottish Salmon and Tesco's Premium mulled wine crowned top.

And when it came to the piece de resistance - the Christmas turkey - Morrisons once again came up trumps, with their frozen free-range bird winning and claiming best bargain buy to boot.

Speaking about the taste test findings, Caroline Bloor, Good Housekeeping Consumer Director, said: “Shopping for Christmas dinner – one of the most eagerly anticipated meals of the year – can be very stressful.

"Deciding what to choose when faced with products you may only buy once a year can be hit and miss. That’s why we’ve done all the hard work for you – and tracked down the best options across 13 categories.
She continued: “Our annual Good Housekeeping Tried and Tested special on festive foods proves you don’t need to bust the budget buying expensive names to treat everyone to something special.

"In most categories, the overall winner is from a high street supermarket. If you’re going to splash out, save your money for the champagne and smoked salmon.”

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Unsurprisingly, it was Marks & Spencer's festive food that swept the board, scoring eight top fives across the 13 categories.

The brand's Salted Caramel Chocolate Forest Cake was crowned best alternative Christmas cake, while their brandy butter with Remy Martin came out trumps in its category.

M&S also picked up commendations for their Free Range Pembrokeshire Bronze Turkey, Suffolk Ale Cured Ham, mulled wine and Collection Sugar Plum Christmas Pudding.

The results of the Good Housekeeping Christmas Tried and Tested are:
Winner:                      Louis Roederer Brut Premier NV
Runner up:                Berry’s United Kingdom Cuvee Grand Cru
Best of the rest:        Asda Extra Special Champagne Premier Cru Brut (Bargain Buy)
                                    Laurent Perrier Brut NV
                                    Thienot Brut
Winner:                      Lock Fyne Bradan Orach Traditional Smoked Salmon
Runner up:                Uig Lodge Hand Sliced Scottish Smoked Salmon
Best of the rest:        H Forman & Son London Cure Royal Fillet Smoked Salmon
The Co-operative Truly Irresistible Whisky Smoked Scottish Salmon (Bargain Buy)
Harrods Mild Cured Smoked Salmon
Winner:                      Morrisons Free-range Frozen Turkey (Bargain Buy)
Runner up                  Aldi Specially Selected Pure Breed Roly Poly Fresh British Turkey
Best of the rest:        Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Norfolk Black Free-range Frozen Turkey          
                                    Marks & Spencer Free Range Pembrokeshire Bronze Turkey       
                                    Waitrose Kelly Dry Aged Free Range Bronze Feathered Fresh Turkey     
Winner:                      Morrisons Fruit and Cognac Stuffing Balls
Runner up:                Aldi Pork and Chestnut Stuffing Balls (Bargain Buy)
Best of the rest:        Tesco Finest British Pork, Apricot, Cranberry & Port Stuffing Portions
Waitrose Venison, Pork, Cranberry & Orange Sausage Meat Stuffing Wraps
Asda Extra Special Portobello Mushroom Stuffing
Winner:                      The Co-operative Truly Irresistible Cranberry Sauce
Runner up:                Tesco Finest Cranberry Sauce
Best of the rest:        Roots and Wings Organic Cranberry Sauce with orange and Christmas Spices
                                    Lidl Deluxe Cranberry and Port Sauce (Bargain Buy)
                                    Tesco Cranberry Sauce
Winner:                      Harrods Orange and Cranberry Ham
Runner up:                Tesco Finest Dry Cured Orange & Rosemary Marmalade Roasting Ham
Best of the rest:        Marks & Spencer Suffolk Ale Cured Ham
                                    Ocado Honey Roasted Mini Boneless Gammon (Bargain Buy)
                                    Asda Chosen By You Mulled Wine Deli Joint
Winner:                      Aldi Connoisseur Christmas Pudding (Bargain Buy)
Runner up:                Aldi Specially Selected Luxury Champagne Christmas Pudding
Best of the rest:        Marks & Spencer Collection Sugar Plum Christmas Pudding
                                    Roots and Wings Organic Christmas Pudding for Sharing
                                    Waitrose Cherry and Almond Glitter Topped Christmas Pudding
Winner:                      Marks & Spencer Brandy Butter with Remy Martin
Runner up:                The Co-operative Brandy Butter with Courvoisier and VS Cognac (Bargain Buy)
Best of the rest:        Morrisons Signature Brandy Butter with Remy Martin
                                    Asda Extra Special Brandy Butter with Remy Martin
                                    Tesco Finest Brandy Butter with Remy Martin
Winner:                      Tesco Premium Mulled Wine
Runner up:                Morrisons Winter Warmer Mulled Wine (Bargain Buy)
Best of the rest:        Marks & Spencer Mulled Wine
                                    Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Mulled Wine
                                    Glogg Saturnas
Winner:                      Heston from Waitrose Spiced Shortcrust Mince Pies
Runner up:                Thomas the Baker Sweet Mince Pies
Best of the rest:        Tesco Finest 6 Mince Pies
                                    Asda Extra Special Mince Pies (Bargain Buy)
                                    Bettys Classic Mince Pies
Winner:                      Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Stag Iced Rich Fruit Cake
Runner up:                Melrose and Morgan Christmas Cake
Best of the rest:        Aldi Specially Selected Luxury All Over Iced Cake (Bargain Buy)
                                    Bettys Soft Iced Pine Cones Christmas Cake
                                    Harrods Iced Christmas Fruit Cake
Winner:                      Marks & Spencer Salted Caramel Chocolate Forest Cake
Runner up:                Marks & Spencer Christmas Colin the Caterpillar
Best of the rest:        Morrisons Ronnie Reindeer (Bargain Buy)
                                    Waitrose Ollie the Owl Christmas Cake
Winner:                      Morrisons Signature Stilton (Bargain Buy)
Runner up:                Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Tuxford & Tebbutt Blue Stilton
Best of the rest:        Asda Extra Special long Clawson Creamy Blue Stilton
                                    Cropwell Bishop Creamery Classic Blue Stilton
                                    Marks & Spencer Blue Stilton Wedge
Read the full Good Housekeeping Christmas Dinner Tried and Tested research in the December issue of Good Housekeeping, on sale Thursday 31 October.

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