We tasted 5 mince pies – so which are the best?

mince pie tasters

It was an exiting day at WigWam HQ. The mince pies were laid out, the mulled wine heating up. We even dug our Christmas jumpers out of the wardrobe.

Because it was time for Pam, our mince pie taster, and 2 of her friends to join is and give their verdict on the best mince pies this Christmas.

But before we get to the verdict, here’s how it was going to work.

In the interests of fairness, we purchased 12 mince pies each from 5 different retailers. All the mince pies were less than £2 for a box of 6.

The contenders were Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference, Asda, Mr Kipling (purchased in the Co-Op), Aldi and Marks & Spencer’s.

The tasters were asked to grade each mince pie out of 5 in the following categories:

  • Pastry
  • Filling
  • Flavour

Each pie would therefore receive a score out of 15 per person, and a grand total out of 45.

The tasting…

Let’s start by saying, our tasters were very, VERY thorough.

Before the first bite, they looked at the pies overall, taking in appearance and smell…

Would first impressions matter?

Actually. No!

When it came to tasting, each of our judges adopted different tactics… Pat opted to tear each pie open to look inside first before taking a bite. Pam preferred to dive straight in with a big bite. 

Interestingly it showed how much personal preference was a factor in their decision making.

Whilst one lady may like a hard crust, another preferred one that was softer or coated with sugar…

#1 Sainsbury’s

First up was Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference.

Whilst they looked and smelled great, they failed to wow our judges.

“This filling is disappointing, just flavourless” one remarked.

What started as high hopes quickly dwindled with the pies scoring a measly 21/45.

#2 Asda

Second up was Asda’s offering.

We’d purchased the ‘Extra Special’ variety. They didn’t look as good as the Sainsbury’s ones, and they failed to improve on the score of them as well.

“Somehow the flavour is worse than the first ones” was one rather scathing comment.

Another disappointing showing with a rating of 21/45 again.

#3 Aldi

Mince Pie number 3 was a 79p box from Aldi.

These weren’t easy on the eyes but they more than passed the taste test.

“These are much better than I expected, really good pastry and nice filling too.”

The Aldi mince pies stormed into the lead with a very respectable 33/45, and could prove tough to beat.

#4 Mr Kipling

The penultimate pie was from Mr Kipling.

These had been “Taste Approved” by the Good Housekeeping Institute, but would they be taste approved by Pam, Sue and Pat?

Quite simply, no.

The main drawback once again was the filling. Our tasters found it “too sharp” and “a bit plain”, meaning it could only salvage a score of 24/45.

#5 Marks & Spencer

Finally we had the Marks and Spencer ‘All Butter’ pies.

These were immediately identified by Pat as having the best filling; “You can see flakes of orange rind, it’s very colourful” she said. The score blew all the competition out the water, scoring 5’s across the board on two score cards taking the total to 42/45.

It would appear we saved the best for last!

So there you have it! If you’re wondering where to get your mince pies from this Christmas then your answer is the Marks & Spencer ‘All Butter’ ones priced at £1.80 for a packet of 6.

However in terms of value for money then our second place Aldi ones at 79p could be a worthy alternative.

Think you know of a better mince pie out there? Let us know!

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