Sunday, 24 November 2013

Sainsburys - Taste the Difference - 6 All Butter Mince Pies

Sainsbury's have always made a decent regular mince pie. As you can see, we didn't hate it. It's about time we gave their luxury (or as my Canadian colleague says, deluxe) mince pies a taste to see whether they can improve on their base recipe.

Presentation - 8

This has a lovely golden box with white snowflakes on one side. It is an elegant, sophisticated box which does nothing but reaffirm that you are buying something with quality. There is a large window on the front showing the also large and well decorated mince pies within.

Each mince pie looks well baked and golden brown, similar to the box! I particularly liked the sprig of holly and berries decorated on each mince pie. All the pies are identical and very neat. You would definitely not be embarrassed serving these to guests!

Nutritional Content & Price - 6

With 240 calories, 8.5g of fat and 24.8g of sugar, these are pretty standard, although Sainsburys have helpfully highlighted with red and orange that these mince pies are not hugely healthy for you!

This box of 6 set me back £2.50. I did think this was a little high for Sainsbury's, but I guess it is their luxury range and you would expect to pay a premium.

Pastry - 27

I noticed on the box that the pastry was made by Walkers. The same Scottish company that made the Glefiddich mince pies we reviewed earlier. As a result, the pastry is really quite nice. There is a sweet and a very slight salty taste to it. It crumbles well and appears a little dry, yet it still stays in one piece. It is perfectly cooked all around with no soggy bottom in sight. You can taste the butter coming through nicely which, although quite unhealthy, makes this pastry taste all the more luxurious.

Mincemeat - 10

There is a pathetically small amount of mincemeat in these mince pies. If you are going to make large mince pies, you have to make sure that there is an appropriate amount of mincemeat inside too.
lack of filling aside, the actual mincemeat itself is also quite poor. Visually, it looks great, large vine fruit, moist. However, when you taste it, you realise that it is not only very jelly-like it is also lacks any real punch with mince pie flavours. The most prominent taste is from the lashings of brandy. It seems like that once again, this is another case of the belief that "if you add more alcohol, your mince pie becomes more luxurious" mentality. This is wrong and needs to change.

Overall Satisfaction - 3

Sorry Sainsbury's, but I would have your standard mince pies over these any day. The lack of any filling and in addition to the already dry pastry, made this mince pie very dry. The only way I can describe this mince pie, is that it's all style, no substance.

Here are the scores from my fellow mincers; 

Tester 1 
Presentation (8) Nutritional content & Price (7) Pastry (31) Mincemeat (25) Satisfaction Level (8) 

Tester 2
Presentation (7) Nutritional content & Price (6) Pastry (20) Mincemeat (19) Satisfaction Level (6.5)
"Pretty average - nothing "different" about them."
Presentation (9) Nutritional content & Price (7) Pastry (30) Mincemeat (18) Satisfaction Level (6.5)
 "Did I "taste the difference?" no. (but usually, yes!)"


65.5 / 100

Look at where these fit in on our leader board.

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