Hello and welcome to round two of the RMS Christmas sandwich reviews. This time round we are looking at two of the high street sandwich ‘underdogs’. They’re actually two of the biggest retailers in the UK but their sandwiches are notorious for being not that great, especially their Christmas offerings. In the blue corner we have Boots, the producers of arguably the WORST Christmas sandwich in 2018 and in the red corner, the supermarket giant, Sainsbury’s. Can they improve on last year? Let’s dive in and see!
Sainsbury’s – Market Sandwich – Ham Hock
Appearance – packaging and the sandwich itself – 4 – The box and packaging my have left a lot to be desired, and the sandwich looked like something had been nibbling at the brioche. But once I unsheathed this brute I was taken aback. I proudly carried this in into the office to be met with gasps. It actually didn’t look like a supermarket sandwich, which is probably the best compliment it could receive at this point.
Taste – the important one – 4.5/5
This really surprised me. From the packaging and general look of the butty I thought this was going to be dry and flavourless. Fortunately, I was wrong. There was a generous amount of ham hock, which may look dry but the combination of other flavours provided the perfect balance. The sauerkraut and pickles added a much-needed acidic bite coupled with the mustard-mayo-esque ‘beer sauce’ which kept it under control. The crowning jewel was the brioche bun which not only differentiates it from the competition but added a lovely sweetness which nicely tied up proceedings.
Cost – Is it cheap? Good value for money? Etc Does it come as part of a deal? – 3.5
So in comparison to the M&S butty which was 3.50 this was only slightly cheaper at £3, but was offering A LOT more for the money. £3 is touching on the expensive side, but for what you got, this butty was great value. Ham hock, Sauerkraut, pickles, beer sauce and a brioche bun? Not bad at all. The only thing which stopped this scoring higher, was that, unsurprisingly, it wasn’t part of a meal deal.
There was a lot riding on this sarnie for two reasons;
To my surprise it smashed my expectations and dare I say it, was actually enjoyable.
Would I have it again? Yes. Well done Sainsburys, you’ve made up for an otherwise bang average sandwich game.
Total Score – 12/15
Boots – Turkey Feast Sandwich
OK so it’s confession time. I REALLY wasn’t looking forward to this one. I had the Christmas sandwich from Boots last year and it was TERRIBLE, REALLY TERRIBLE! So when I volunteered to try this one I was prepared for the worst. Throw in the fact that it was pouring down with rain, my feet were soaked by the time I got to Boots and I was even wetter by the time I made it back to the office, this was not one I was looking forward to.
Appearance – packaging and the sandwich itself – 2
Once I managed to prize the sandwich box from the rain drenched Boots brown paper bag it’s clear that nothing has changed from a packaging point of view. Another standard, Christmas red with a festive twist on the sandwich box. Not bad but not inspiring either.
And this kind of goes for the sandwich too. As with most of Boots’ sandwiches it looks ok when it comes out of the box, a touch dry but it LOOKS well filled and you can see there seems to be a decent amount of turkey and bacon in there as well. Not a bad start.
Taste – the important one – 2.5
Actually not too bad. Certainly not as bad as last year. The predominant flavour is the stuffing and for once they’ve managed to keep the bread from going soggy or indeed dry.
There’s just a hint of sweetness from the cranberry but upon closer inspection the appearance was deceiving as there really isn’t much turkey, it’s certainly not a turkey feast and you cannot taste it at all.
Thankfully it is part of the famous Boots meal deal so a good mouthful of salt & vinegar crisps along with it helped the whole process.
So, this is really another case of MEH! Not great but not awful either.
Cost – Is it cheap? Good value for money? Etc Does it come as part of a deal? – 4.5
This is where Boots is a winner, especially at such an expensive time of year. Being able to get the sandwich, crisps and a drink for £3.39 actually makes this a viable option for those that want something festive and don’t want to break the bank.
Boots sandwiches in general get a bad rep, both in our office but also among those that know about food so I was pleasantly surprised that this sandwich wasn’t awful. Then again, I wasn’t expecting much. The fact that it comes as part of the meal deal was a real saving grace because at least there was crisps and a drink to boost it and you haven’t spent over a fiver on the lunch (see our M&S review here).
Would I buy this sandwich again? Probably not. Was it awful? Probably not, and I suspect that Boots will sell a shed load to people that want their favourite meal deal with a festive twist.
Total Score 8.5 / 10