Thursday, October 6, 2022

First Time Buyer’s festive food guide!

The festive season is a time for gifts, seeing family, Christmas trees and Father Christmas. But, for many people, the most important part of Christmas is definitely the food and drink. It seems that the selection of Christmas food and drink is becoming ever more puzzling, with so much variety on offer. FTB has tried and tested the premium selections from the UK’s top supermarkets to make sure that you choose the very best and ensure that this Christmas is a real cracker 

Best turkey

finest* Medium British free-range Narragansett turkey; between £40-£52.50

Roast turkey is the centrepiece of any festive dinner table. There’s nothing worse than a dry and flavourless turkey, especially when it’s the one thing you’ve been looking forward to all December, but this one from Tesco will not disappoint. Reared in East Anglia, these turkeys have freedom to roam and forage in lush, enriched pastures, expressing natural behaviour as they would do in the wild. Traditional farming methods, their environment and a varied, nutritious diet, make the meat full flavoured and naturally self-basting, so it stays wonderfully succulent as it cooks.

Best turkey dinner

finest* Christmas Dinner for Two; £35

Take the stress out of Christmas dinner. This deal provides everything you need for a full festive feast: tender turkey breast wrapped in bacon, roast potatoes, pigs in blankets, Yorkshire puddings, roasted carrots and parsnips with thyme, broccoli, cauliflower and sprouts, sage and onion stuffing, plus rich turkey gravy and a sweet cranberry sauce. For dessert, enjoy cider and Courvoisier VS Cognac Christmas puddings served with brandy sauce. This all comes with Tesco finest* Premier Cru Non-Vintage Champagne and Christmas crackers.

Best Boxing Day pudding

Percy Pig Pigloo; £15

Although probably created with children in mind, this pudding will have the whole family coming back for a second piece. A gloriously moist cake made with Madeira sponge, Percy Pig sweet-flavour buttercream and fruity jam, it has some surprise piggy goodies inside the edible smash dome in the form of Percy Pig sweets, small fudge pieces and mini marshmallows. What more could you ask for? The Percy Pig phenomenon doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon!

Best Canape

finest* rainbow Gyoza selection; £4

This selection of gyozas isn’t exactly a traditional Christmas canape, but these are a real must if you want to put a smile on your guests’ faces. Not only do they look the part, with a fantastic array of different colours, but the taste is just as good, with a variety of tasty fillings including vegetable, prawns and chicken. The range of different textures also works really well, with more traditional softer options as well as some battered ones. It really does not matter which one of these delicious morsels you go for – you won’t be disappointed. 

Best Christmas crackers

6 Lakeland Gingerbread Bowling Crackers; £19.99

These festive Gingerbread Bowling Christmas crackers are the perfect addition to your Yuletide dinner table. Each candy cane-festooned cracker contains an adorable wooden gingerbread person bowling pin, as well as the usual hat, joke, and snap, so you can play a bit of festive bowling between courses. The set includes a stripy bowling alley, felt board and a red and white bowling ball. So once you’ve pulled your crackers, set up the six pins at one end of the board and then get ready to score a strike!

Best prosecco

finest* Prosecco Doc; £8

Christmas time and some fabulous festive fizz seems to go hand-in-hand. This excellent prosecco is elegant and smooth, with a lingering finish, full of citrus and pear flavours with peach blossom aromas. A glass on its own works as a great party sipper, but this prosecco really comes to life when paired with a salmon starter or canape where the flavours match up superbly. These are great value bubbles that taste a lot more expensive than the price suggests. 

Best Champagne

finest* Premier Cru Brut Champagne; £21

If you want to get the party started, nothing works better than a great bottle of bubbly and Tesco’s Cru Brut Champagne will do the trick nicely. A crisp and dry Champagne, with flavours of citrus, green apple and brioche, it has been aged extra-long in the bottle. Great served with canapes or by itself, you are sure to enjoy a glass or two as you celebrate the most wonderful time of the year this Christmas with your friends and family.

Best teatime treat

5 Yule pups; £2.20

Even a cup of tea at Christmas time needs a tasty chocolate treat to go with it. These yule pups continue the nation’s craze for man’s best friend, with rolls made from a light chocolate sponge cake rolled in an indulgent vanilla filling and covered with a smooth milk chocolate. The jolly pups are then decorated with festive sprinkles and a sweet little dog face to add cheer to your Christmas spread. Almost too cute to eat!

Best vegan option

The Best Vegan Vegetable Wellington; £5

This is Christmas wrapped up in a lovely little parcel. Vegetables and butternut squash, hand wrapped in a cranberry, apricot and chestnut duxelles with a wholegrain mustard melt and encased in crisp golden puff pastry. This Wellington has lots of different textures with the outer layer being very crispy while the filling inside is wonderfully moist. The butternut squash also adds a lovely sweetness. The perfect vegetarian or vegan option this Christmas.

Best panettone

The Best Chocolate Orange and Mascarpone Cream Panettone; £7

The Panettone is making its way on to more and more Christmas tea tables every year, and this offering is one of the best. Made at a second-generation family run bakery in the Piedmont region of northern Italy, and baked to a traditional recipe with butter, free-range egg, sultanas and orange peel, this excellent Panettone also contains a mother dough which has been nurtured since 1964, and is naturally cooled by being hung upside down. It is made with milk chocolate chunks, injected with a mascarpone and orange liqueur cream, topped with a layer of bittersweet chocolate and decorated with toasted almond slices and chocolate pieces. What’s not to like?


Best cheese

Baking Camembert with Garlic Doughball Wreath; £6.50

Good food tastes even better when shared with friends. This rich baking Camembert is wonderful when the tear and share doughball wreath, glazed with olive oil, parsley and garlic, is dipped into it. A caramelised red onion and sherry vinegar chutney adds even more flavour to this great eating experience. The wreath looks almost too perfect to tear, but once you have tasted it, however, you may be fighting your guests for that last doughball.

Best free from

finest* Free From Honeycomb Dome; £6

A dessert that looks incredible but also has some hidden secrets just waiting to be revealed inside! This is a Belgian dark chocolate dome with crunchy honeycomb pieces and gluten-free biscuit, drizzled by hand with chocolate and gold lustre. Break through the decadent dark Belgian chocolate dome to reveal the crunchy toffee-coloured honeycomb and chocolate biscuit inside. This tastes divine, while also being free from milk, wheat, gluten and egg.

Best sharer

Decorate Your Own Cheese Christmas tree; £8

We all love decorating the Christmas tree and now you can do it all with a cheesy twist. This great idea from M&S gives you a Christmas tree-shaped twisted butter-enriched puff pastry with a cheesy filling for you to decorate at home with Cheddar and mozzarella, basil pesto and red sweety drop peppers. It’s a little like making your own Christmas pizza and no matter how your creation looks, it is sure to be delicious. The red sweety drop pepper baubles really are the star of the show! Put it in the oven for just 10 minutes and you’re ready to go.

Best smoked salmon

Irresistible Beech Oak Smoked Salmon; £4 

For many, smoked salmon is a must at Christmas time and this one from the Co-Op is an excellent choice. The salmon is responsibly sourced from Scotland and delicately smoked and matured over beech and oak for 10 hours to give it that unmistakable smoky taste. Great to use in canapes with a splash of lemon juice drizzled over the top, or perhaps alongside soft scrambled eggs and a glass of Champagne on Christmas morning. 

Best Christmas pudding

The Best Christmas Pudding; £5

What is Christmas without the Christmas pudding? This best Christmas pudding from Morrisons is made with Turkish sultanas, Vostizza currants, flame raisins, brandy-soaked cherries and nuts, enriched with ruby port, sherry and Cognac. It has that lovely traditional Christmas pudding flavour while being perfectly moist, full of lovely fruit and also having a wonderful boozy hit to it. Add a nice big dollop of brandy butter or cream and you may well find that one piece just isn’t quite enough.


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