The festive season rolls around and British supermarkets stock their shelves with Christmas sandwiches. Each year is more outlandish than the last. Where once it was only ever about a handful of dry turkey meat and a dollop or two of cranberry sauce, today creations have become a world of brie, brioche and cheesy pigs-in-blankets, and to limited success. Sliced white bread — preferable with a Christmas doorstop — hasn’t been entirely forgotten about, but don’t be surprised to see butternut squash in focaccia either.
Many of 2023’s options are on the posh side. Pret, recently lambasted on social media for being too expensive, has on offer this year a rye roll filled with smoked salmon, crayfish, rocket and lemon mayonnaise for a surprisingly reasonable £4.99. Co-op’s currywurst, cheddar, sauerkraut and mustard number is another sandwich trying very hard indeed. But succeeding for £3.85, let’s be honest.
Budget sarnies? Absolutely — Britain wouldn’t be the same without them. Morrisons’ £3.50 turkey feast contains breast meat, stuffing, sausages and bacon, all lubricated by cranberry sauce in granary bread. With mayonnaise it edges beyond passable. One of Tesco’s vegan concoctions, a spiced veg and chestnut wrap, bound by a pea protein-based mayonnaise, is not at all displeasing, particularly considering it costs just £2.85.
But most Christmas sandwiches are found wanting. They are tired iterations that start with the promise of an idea but only ever end up a dry and floppy mess of uninspiring ingredients shoved together in a bad ciabatta.
We at the Standard had the misfortune of trying some of them, from an M&S "Brie-LT," with bacon, brie, and caramelised onion mayo in brioche, to Starbucks' ham and "festive slaw" sub roll and Tesco's inventively named "Yule Hog," which blends pork with gravy, apple sauce, and sage and onion stuffing. See what we thought above, and read a comprehensive guide to this year's offerings here.