Christmas Sandwich Review – Greggs vs Marks and Spencer

Welcome to the first ever RMS Christmas sandwich review blog. Over the next few weeks we will be enjoying the highs (and lows) of what Altrincham has to offer. We will be visiting the usual high street favourites as well as some of the independents here to see who will be crowned Best Christmas Sandwich 2019.

There will certainly be disagreements along the way as well as some heated discussions over what actually constitutes a sandwich and there will also be some ‘honourable munch’tions’ along the way as well.

We will be judging a number of criteria including appearance, taste, value for money, and finally, giving the sandwich an overall score.

There will be no changing of scores, no bribery for any preferences you have and almost certainly too much turkey, pigs in blankets and cranberry sauce.

So sit back, relax and enjoy the winter wonderland that is the Christmas Sandwich!

The first entries

We thought we’d start by trying two different sandwiches from two ends of the price scale by going to Greggs and M&S. Both have a variety of festive offerings this Christmas but we were focussed on the sandwiches, so here goes.

Greggs – Pigs under Blankets Baguette

*DISCLAIMER* – Ok, so first of all let’s address the elephant in the room, there is NO TURKEY in this baguette! Greggs do a Christmas lunch sandwich but at the time of eating, ours didn’t so we went for this one. And yes, I know that it’s a baguette and not sliced bread but so what, it’s food in between bread so IT IS A SANDWICH!

Appearance – packaging and the sandwich itself – 2.5/5

As with all Greggs hot baguettes and sandwiches it comes in an eco-friendly brown paper sandwich bag with just a hint of Christmassy branding. Nothing flash but it does the job.

Upon releasing the sandwich the first appearance is not great, in fact, the first comment made was that it looks a little like a car crash. However, once cut it looks a lot better and what is more re-assuring is that it is clearly hot.

It’s also a decent size and would definitely prove to be nice and filling for a lunchtime effort.

Not a great start but not bad either!

Taste – the important one – 3.5/5

The first bite offers the satisfying crunch of the fresh baguette followed by the sudden rush of heat from the sausage which was hotter than the sun!

Also worth mentioning at this point that this is no gourmet sausage, but then again what do you expect? It is Greggs after all.

The sandwich is actually a delicious mix of hot sausage, crispy bacon, stuffing and cranberry sauce and I was pleased to note that neither the stuffing or cranberry sauce overpowered the rest of the mix and honestly it was delicious!

Cost – Is it cheap? Good value for money? Etc Does it come as part of a deal? – 4/5

It’s Greggs so you expect value for money and this doesn’t disappoint. It’s a hefty beast of a sandwich and for less than £4 with a drink I reckon it’s a pretty good deal.

In summary

This is a really strong favourite to take the crown this year. Greggs have smashed it out of the park of late with the vegan sausage roll and the great range they have in store. The pigs under blankets baguette is another strong offering. You could argue that it’s not really a Christmas sandwich and you could be right, but they only sell it at Christmas, and it reminds me of a boxing day buffet sandwich so it’s a worthy inclusion

Delicious, hot, great value and filling, what more could you want from a Christmas sandwich.

TOTAL SCORE – 10/15 – A STRONG contender

Honourable Munch’tions

Greggs do a cracking bake and a soup deal for just £2.60 and this includes their Christmas offerings. So, if you are feeling really festive why not go for the festive bake and Christmas Lunch Soup? They’re both pretty decent tasting, filling and superb value

M&S – Turkey and Pigs in Blankets

Appearance – packaging and the sandwich itself – 3.5/5

The package looked OK. It was loosely Christmas themed, but nothing to write home about. The sandwich itself looked pleasant enough and wasn’t as much of an atrocity as the Greggs baguette. A promising start.

Taste – the important one – 3.5/5

As a reluctant adopter of the cold sausage, this was always going to be a tough one. The bread was good and hadn’t become soggy – but overall the sandwich lacked filling and tasted average. The ratio of ingredients was perfect however there just wasn’t enough of any of it. A serious lack of turkey left me wanting more. In fairness the Cranberry sauce popped and brought a lovely sweetness to the butty. The spinach was also an unexpected hero, bringing some much-needed greenness to this very brown lunch.

Cost – Is it cheap? Good value for money? Etc Does it come as part of a deal? 1/5

At an eye-watering £3.50 the M&S butty isn’t cheap. Combined with the Sausage Roll side dish that’s a total of £5.50. On a Tuesday! It’s what you come to expect from M&S and I can’t say I was surprised. But when you’re going over the £5 mark you expect something more than this festive flop. This also doesn’t come as part of a meal deal, so you’re left with the mad scramble for that little something else to top of the lunch. Very expensive for what you got.

Although the sausage roll had a little pastry star on it, so I suppose that justifies the £5.50 total of this munch?

In Summary

With enough carbs to kill a small horse this porky lunch was overall a pleasant experience despite the afternoon slump it induced. With an honourable Munch’tions to the sausage roll, this lunch filled the gap but emptied the pocket. Not disappointing by any means but nothing to get overly excited about. Would I have it again? The sandwich? Sadly, no. However, the sausage roll would happily get re-munched in the future.

TOTAL SCORE – 8/15 – Ticks the box not much else.

Honourable Munch’tions Turkey, Bacon & Cranberry Sausage Roll 4/5

M&S you wily temptress. As the home of ‘bits’, M&S has always excelled at those unnecessary extras your mum buys for parties to impress the relatives. This is the extra that no one asked for but everyone needs. This tasty treat would be lovely warmed up in the oven.