Taste & Tell

Mince pies and more: the top scorers in ALL our Christmas taste tests

Here's which supermarkets to head to if you want the tastiest festive treats

20 December 2019 - 00:00 By staff reporter
Mince pies, puddings and fruit cakes - it's christmas time!
Mince pies, puddings and fruit cakes - it's christmas time!
Image: Christoph Hoffman

'Tis the season to indulge! To help you buy the tastiest festive treats, we invited a host of top chefs to munch their way though a selection of mince pies, iced fruit cakes and Christmas puddings from major supermarkets.

We've run the results of these blind taste tests online over the past couple of weeks. In case you've missed them, here's a recap of the top-scoring products in each category:

Iced Christmas cakes from (left to right) Pick n Pay, Woolworths, Spar, Checkers and Food Lover's Market.
Iced Christmas cakes from (left to right) Pick n Pay, Woolworths, Spar, Checkers and Food Lover's Market.
Image: Christoph Hoffman

ICED CHRISTMAS CAKES

THE CONTENDERS:

  • Iced Festive Fruit Cake - Checkers
  • Iced Brandy Fruit Cake - Woolworths
  • Luxury Iced Brandy Fruit Cake - Pick n Pay
  • Freshline Iced Christmas Fruit Cake - Spar
  • Iced Fruit Cake - Food Lover's Market
Pick n Pay's Luxury Iced Brandy Fruit Cake.
Pick n Pay's Luxury Iced Brandy Fruit Cake.
Image: Christoph Hoffman

THE TOP SCORER:

Pick n Pay's Luxury Iced Brandy Fruit Cake

Price: R199.99 for 1kg

What the judges said:

  • Nathan Jacobs: The best of the lot we've tasted, but nothing special.
  • Pinky Maruping: The cake looks perfect but is very dry.
  • Jane-Therese Mulry: The best of the lot, nicely presented.

To see how other retailer's products faired, see the full results of our Christmas cake taste test.

Non-traditional mince pies from (left to right) Pick n Pay (Honey Burst), Checkers (blueberry), Checkers (gluten-free), Food Lover's Market and Pick n Pay (gluten-free).
Non-traditional mince pies from (left to right) Pick n Pay (Honey Burst), Checkers (blueberry), Checkers (gluten-free), Food Lover's Market and Pick n Pay (gluten-free).
Image: Christoph Hoffman

NON-TRADITIONAL MINCE PIES

THE CONTENDERS: 

  • Blueberry Fruit Mince Pies - Checkers
  • Honey Burst Mince Pies - Pick n Pay
  • Gluten-Free Mince Pies - Checkers
  • Fruited Mince Pies with Blueberries - Food Lover's Market
  • Free From Gluten Fruit Mince Pies - Pick n Pay
Pick n Pay's Honey Burst Mince Pies.
Pick n Pay's Honey Burst Mince Pies.
Image: Christoph Hoffman

THE TOP SCORER:

Pick n Pay's Honey Burst Mince Pies

Price: R34.99 for four

What the judges said:

  • Jane-Therese Mulry: Pastry very nice and buttery. I get the citrus but not the honey.
  • Fritz Flatscher: The star design on top gives it a special festive effect.
  • Heinz Brunner: Love the pastry and the star on top, it tastes like orange marmalade.

To see how other retailer's products faired, see the full results of our mince pie taste test.

Traditional mince pies from (left to right) Checkers, Woolworths, Pick n Pay, Food Lover's Market and Spar.
Traditional mince pies from (left to right) Checkers, Woolworths, Pick n Pay, Food Lover's Market and Spar.
Image: Christoph Hoffman

TRADITIONAL MINCE PIES

THE CONTENDERS:

  • Fruit Mince Pies - Woolworths
  • Deep Filled Mince Pies - Pick n Pay
  • Festive Mince Pies - Checkers
  • Traditional Fruited Mince Pies - Food Lover's Market
  • Freshline Mince Pies - Spar
Checker's Festive Mince Pies.
Checker's Festive Mince Pies.
Image: Christoph Hoffman

THE TOP SCORER:

Checker's Festive Mince Pies

Price: R36.99 for six (360g)

What the judges said:

  • Fritz Flatscher: Very nicely baked crust. Nice colour, good acidity.
  • Jane-Therese Mulry: Pastry perfect, not too sweet. Filling moist and wholesome.
  • Catherine Adonis: Pastry-to-filling ratio is perfect. Pastry has great colour and texture and is well baked.

To see how other retailer's products faired, see the full results of our mince pie taste test.

Christmas puddings from (left to right) Pick n Pay, Woolworths, Spar, Checkers and Food Lover's Market.
Christmas puddings from (left to right) Pick n Pay, Woolworths, Spar, Checkers and Food Lover's Market.
Image: Christoph Hoffman

CHRISTMAS PUDDINGS

THE CONTENDERS:

  • Christmas Brandy Fruit Pudding - Woolworths
  • Luxury Christmas Pudding - Pick n Pay
  • Christmas Pudding - Spar
  • Festive Steamed Pudding - Checkers
  • Christmas Fruit Pudding - Food Lover's Market
Pick n Pay's Luxury Christmas Pudding.
Pick n Pay's Luxury Christmas Pudding.
Image: Christoph Hoffman

THE TOP SCORER:

Pick n Pay's Luxury Christmas Pudding

Price: R249.99 for 900g

What the judges said:

  • Jane-Therese Mulry: Citrus flavour but quite stodgy, although nice taste.
  • Fritz Flatscher: A good-looking pudding.
  • Catherine Adonis: Tasty - a bit mushy but good flavour. Nice orange flavour. Juicy.

To see how other retailer's products faired, see the full results of our Christmas pudding taste test.