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Best Mince Pies: DE Taste Test

Date: 29th November 2018
Author: Sarah Twist
Publisher: Darwin Escapes
Food & Drink

We’ve conducted the ultimate blind taste test of high street supermarkets’ own brand mince pies and guess who won!

You can’t have Christmas without mince pies (I’m not even sure it’s legal?) and nowadays there are so many brands offering delicious mince pes, it’s hard to know which is the best. So DE HQ have conducted a blind taste test of 7 of the biggest supermarkets, including Tesco, Asda, Sainsburys, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Aldi and Lidl.

We called on Talacre Beach’s Head Chef, Gary and DE HQ’s biggest mince pie fan, Rona to take on this most serious of missions and they readily (enthusiastically) agreed! The pair were charged with judging the mince pies on 5 categories, 4 during the Bake-Off-style blind taste test, appearance, taste, texture and mix/pastry ratio. The last category was to be judged on packaging, after all if you don’t see it on the shelf you won’t buy it! The maximum score a mince pie could get was 25, we also asked our judges to put a few comments at the bottom for context… and our judges were harsh ladies and gentlemen, they were very hard to impress.

The Results

The Winner is – Aldi

Aldi’s mince pies gained a score of 19, a clear favourite with our judges. They have the most pleasing taste, appearance, texture and mix/pastry ratio (most important aspect in my book). The only thing the judges pointed out is that the packaging could be slightly more eye catching, but could find no fault with the mince pies. Awesome Aldi strikes again!

2nd Place Goes To – Tesco

Scoring 16, the supermarket giant failed to take the top spot. Our judges found the pasty slight bland (I told you they were hard to impress!), but they did love the packaging. On a personal note, try Tesco’s mini-mince pies – drool worthy!

3rd Morrisons

Gaining a score of 15, Morrisons slides into third place. Although they scored quite high on overall taste, they did think the pasty was too dry and they didn’t really like the packaging either.

4th Sainsburys

Scoring a total of 14, our judges found Sainsburys mixture tasted too strong of brandy (personally that wouldn’t be a problem…). They also commented that the packaging wasn’t very eco-friendly, with a cardboard outter packaging and a plastic sleeve, they did prove trickier to open than the others (Fort-Knox of mince pies was mentioned…)

Joint 4th Lidl

Sharing 4th is Lidl, their own brand mince pies didn’t impress our judges, scoring low on taste, mix/pastry ratio and texture, they said that the pastry was too crumbly and messy (they are pretty picky about pasty though…). But the judges did like the packaging and the appearance of the pies themselves!

5th Asda

Coming out with a score of 13, Asda’s mince pies failed to satisfy our judges need for mince meat mixture, stating they are shallower than normal so the mix/pastry ratio was off (need bigger bottoms on your mince pies Asda!).

Last Place Goes To – Marks & Spencer

Marks & Spencer topped the Which? Taste Test list this year, but our judges whole-heartedly disagree, scoring them lowest at 12. They weren’t sure about the packaging, and didn’t like the taste of the mince meat mixture. Sorry M&S!

Aldi mince pies are a clear winner with our judges, coming out highest in all 5 categories. So if you’re looking for the best supermarket’s own brand mince pies to gorge on this festive season, head over to your nearest Aldi and stock up!

Well Done Aldi!

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