Taste test: Christmas Pudding

We track down the best from M&S, Lakeland, Coles and Tesco

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Christmas Pudding - Taste test

Clockwise from top left: Marks & Spencer Classic; Lakeland Traditional; Feeding your imagination; Coles Traditional Food; Tesco Classic

Marks & Spencer Classic Christmas Pudding

£3.99 ●●
This pudding does the job, but won’t make you too jolly. It has the bitterness of peel running through it, giving it the flavour of a fruitcake, is densely packed with raisins and there’s not a lot of alcohol. M&S’s ‘luxury’ Christmas pudding is a nuttier and boozier affair, but is of a similar standard.

Lakeland Traditional Christmas Pudding

£4.99 ●●●
This Lakeland bestseller is a solid pud for £4.99. It’s full of fruit, though not overwhelmingly so, and has a good crumbly texture. It loses points for not having that kick of booze – your auntie won’t be getting tipsy off this one – but is still a cheeky little pudding with a lot of taste to recommend it.

Feeding your imagination Chrimbo Pud

£7.49 from Real Foods, Edinburgh ●●●
The booziest of the lot, this ‘pud’ has been splashed with a generous measure of Courvoisier VS cognac. This, and a lot of fruit, makes it extremely sweet tasting. The sponge is a little soggy and falling apart, but it’s redeemed by a nice aftertaste of almonds, and it’s gluten-free.

Coles Traditional Food Christmas Pudding

£8 from John Lewis ●●●●
This is the spongiest of all the puddings, and has a light, cakey texture that’s very pleasant. There’s a good balance of fruit, leaving it tasting both sweet and also citrusy. This feels like Christmas pudding how your mum might make it – and therefore how it ought to be.

Tesco Classic Christmas Pudding

£2 ●●●●
Costing only two quid this is our List best buy pudding. Everything is nicely balanced – there’s fruit, nuttiness and some alcoholic warmth coming from a cider/sherry combo. The pudding is stodgy (so much so it came out of the plastic case in two bits), but it’s not upsettingly sticky. It tastes cheap and cheerful, which is exactly right.

All puddings were cooked in the microwave according to packet instructions.

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