Come Boxing Day we all love to stuff our faces with sandwiches filled with turkey, ham and any other leftovers we can get our hands on. But supermarkets, sandwich chains and coffee shops have long been doing Christmas a disservice with their unrelenting tide of turkey bloomers and festive baguettes. In recent years, prices have risen and the recipes become more outlandish and, generally, more disgusting.
Most Christmas sarnies are either far too salty or full of chutney that offers sugar and not much else. Take the M&S Christmas Club as a prime example. Inside a brioche bun you’ll find turkey, Brussels sprout slaw, bacon and cheese. Yes, cheese. Who has cheese with their turkey at Christmas? And then there’s a pig-in-blanket on a cocktail stick poking out the side. All for the eye-watering price of £5. That’s a generous stocking filler lost on something that tastes like it was microwaved on an aeroplane a few hundred miles from Lapland. Meanwhile, Costa is trying to sell us all roast beef and blue cheese brioche baguettes for £3.60. There’s nothing festive about it, unless you count the smear of mustard and ale chutney (which I don’t).
I’ll admit there are a small handful of festive offerings that aren’t completely awful. M&S partially redeems itself with its Help Shelter Turkey Feast and the Co-Op Turkey and Trimmings is not too bad. Pret’s option, with flavours of sage and apricot, crispy onions and cranberry and port sauce, is also worth a mention here.
But, in the main, lunching on sandwiches at Christmas is a dire experience, and here are the three worst offenders…
Sainsbury’s Prawn, Crab and Avocado sandwich (£3)
I may be a little biased here given the fact that – other than guacamole – I detest avocado and everything it stands for. But three quid for some soggy mush in oatmeal bread is a little off to me. Crab sandwiches only work if the crab meat is fresh. And watery prawns only serve to add to add to the sadness. Nobody deserves this abomination.
Boots Festive Falafel sandwich(£2.75)
As far I’m concerned Boots sandwiches are a last resort for when there’s no M&S or Pret in sight, and its Christmas fare is not going to change my mind. The only link between falafel and the festive season is alliteration, and the sandwich itself is horrible, with a dry, bitty and tasteless filling.
Tesco Finest Medium Rare Beef Wellington wrap (£3)
You get a ludicrous amount of meat for three pounds, but the bottom line is wraps aren’t festive. Neither is beef. Weirdly, Tesco has also hidden some salad leaves in the middle of this monstrosity, which I find deeply unnerving.
Josh Barrie tweets @joshbythesea