Here in magazine land, we begin tasting Christmas foods back in July! Be inspired by our pick of the most delicious picks that are going to be in the shops this year, from storecupboard to spectacular.
We’ve picked out the best Christmas food you can buy for 2016, from cakes and party nibbles through to roasts and the best Christmas puddings and desserts. Let’s face it; who has the time to make everything from scratch? Some things are just better shop bought, but will help bring those extra touches to your Christmas table. Have a look at our little list here, and see more of our favourite picks in the December issue of our magazine.
Planning your Christmas feast? Take a look at all our Christmas recipes.
1. The punchy roast
Waitrose Gammon Joint with a Ginger, Maple and Bourbon Glaze is a great roast for Christmas Eve or Boxing Day with a really punchy glaze.
Available from: Waitrose, £11.99/4kg (average weight)
We also liked: ASDA Extra Special Venison Joint layered with bacon and Christmas spices with a Prosecco and cranberry sauce and melt in the middle stuffing for a delicious alternative to turkey or a festive roast for anytime.
2. The handy salmon
Foreman’s, the oldest smokehouse in the UK, hand fillets, cures and trims Aldi’s Exquisite Rope Hung Scottish salmon which comes complete with board and carving knife.
Available from Aldi, £20
3. The retro starter
Morrison’s The Best dressed Cromer crabs are the perfect simple starter for a Christmas lunch – add some retro Melba toasts and a squeeze of fresh lemon.
Available from Morrison’s, £7 for 2
Want to make your own starter? Take a look at our impressive Christmas Day starter recipes.
4. The prize turkey
Copas Turkeys are the Bentleys of the turkey world – cherished, pampered then hand plucked to give incredible flavour and an amazing gravy.
From £65 delivered from copasturkeys.co.uk or Selfridges and good butchers. Last orders Tuesday 20 December.
5. The wow-factor starter
Iceland’s Luxury Lobster Thermidor tails are a DIY pack for you to add the sauce and topping and bake until golden brown, quite a special starter for Christmas.
Available from: Iceland, £12 pack of 2
We also liked:For a veggie starter, check out Iceland’s Luxury Vintage Somerset Cheddar soufflés, £2 for 2.
Want more meat-free ideas? Take a look at our vegetarian Christmas recipes
6. The mini steak pies
Co-op mini steak and ale pies are always a winner and way too fiddly to bother making your own at home.
Available from Co-op, 6 for £3.00
7. The must-have nibbles
The Best Pulled Beef Wellingtons from Morrisons are just what you need for a nibble before Christmas lunch or hey, have them for breakfast!
8. The party bites
Iceland’s Luxury Crab and Lobster Mac & Cheese Gratins are served in individual terracotta pots. As Canadian lobster meets British crab, these are a great filler for a smaller gathering or as a starter.
Available from Iceland, £3.50 for 2
9. The luxurious melt cake
Tesco finest* The Reveal Dessert is a dome of Belgian chocolate flecked with gold, encases a decadent chocolate dessert when the hot caramel sauce is poured over, a good showstopper.
Available from Tesco, £12.
10. The yule stump
Waitrose Red Velvet Yule stump is a delicious cake with a difference and beautifully finished.
Available from Waitrose, £15
11. The starry cheesecake
Co-op’s White Chocolate and Passion Fruit Christmas Star is made of diamonds of passion fruit cheesecake in sponge alternated with Belgian chocolate and raspberry cheesecake-filled sponge. Finished with chocolate ganache and gold glitter.
Available from Co-op, £8 for 500g
12. The alternative Christmas cake
M’Hencha is an exotic Moroccan Pastry Cake, also known as “snake cake” due to its coiled form, with an almond frangipane infused with exotic flavours wrapped in crisp brick pastry. Hand made by our Great Taste Award VIP winner this year, Sophie Browne, you can order as small or big as you like for tear and share. Utterly divine served warm. (Comes frozen).
Available from www.themhenchacompany.co.uk
13. The buttery mince pies
Booths All-butter mince pies are light, citrussy with a wonderfully buttery pastry. Serve warm for perfection.
Available from Booths, 6 for £2.50
We also loved: their muslin-wrapped Christmas pudding, super fruity, boozy with walnuts and apricots, 908g serves 8-10 £11.95
14. The crowd-pleaser panettone
This panettone with a Prosecco flavoured filling from Carluccio’s has Prosecco-flavoured custard piped through it which keeps it moist and adds a lovely edge to it. Perfectly light and so enjoyable to share amongst friends.
Available from Carluccio’s, £19.95 for 900g.
15. The festive party snacks
The Three Bird Roast crisps from Tyrrells are perfect for a gathering during the festive period. They’re meaty and flavoursome and they’re just so moreish! Available from Ocado, £2.19.