Asda's Christmas Pudding smash cake

olive Christmas supermarket awards 2016

Smart foodies know that ditching a recipe in favour of a ready-made product is sometimes a good option. Here are 30 products from our third annual Christmas Supermaket awards that we really rate, to make festive entertaining easier for you

The Christmas cake everyone will want to buy

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Winner: Asda Christmas Pudding Smash Cake. A fun family centrepiece that kids will love. Smash it open to reveal hidden treats and a moist chocolate sponge. The packaging is great, too. £13/1.7kg

Asda's Christmas Pudding smash cake
Asda’s Christmas pudding smash cake

Best Christmas fizz

Winner: Aldi Veuve Monsigny Champagne Brut. This is a very accessible and affordable champagne with a creamy finish. £9.99/75cl

Highly commended: M&S Monticella Prosecco Superiore. A great buck’s fizz contender, this is a light and easy-drinking prosecco with a strong pear nose. £15/75cl


Canapes and Champagne winners in olive Christmas supermarket awards
Top left: Aldi Veuve Monsigny champagne brut | Right: M&S 10 mini scallop en crôutes with champagne Sauce

Canapés

Winner: M&S 10 Mini Scallop En Crôutes with Champagne Sauce. An innovative, fun and luxurious canapé in a light sauce that delivers its promise of fizz. £9/150g


A ready-made cheeseboard

Joint winner (A): Asda Extra Special Cheese Selection. A stellar selection of cheeses, each prime examples of their kind (great gouda and a strong red), but subtle enough to please every palate. £6/590g

Joint winner (B): Co-op Irresistible Luxury Cheese Selection. A top-quality selection of strong, pokey cheeses including a fab brie and creamy, piquant blue, presented in a rustic tray. £7/550g

Ready cheese boards from olive's Christmas supermarket awards
Bottom right: Asda Extra Special cheese selection | Top Left: Co-op irresistible luxury cheese selection

A standout starter

Joint winner (A): Iceland Luxury Lobster Thermidor Tails. An easy, cook-from-frozen option that’s special enough for the festive period. £12/300g

Joint winner (B): Ocado Scallop & Pea Fricasse Gratin. An indulgent, creamy queenie scallop and pea filling topped with a crunchy crumb and served in scallop shells for extra wow factor (and to save on the washing up!). £6/280g

Standout starters and smokd salmon from olive Christmas supermarket awards
Top left: Iceland luxury lobster thermidor tails | Right: Ocado scallop and pea fricasse Gratin | Middle: Lidl’s deluxe oak and applewood smoked Scottish salmon

Smoked salmon

Winner: LIDL Deluxe Oak & Applewood Smoked Scottish Salmon. Well balanced with a nice smoke, caramelised flavour and rounded creaminess. £2.29/100g

Highly commended: Booths Whole Mulled Port Marinated Smoked Salmon. An impressive, pre-sliced whole side of salmon with subtle Christmas spicing. £28/800g


A ready-made side dish for Christmas Day

Winner: M&S Three Squash Bake. With roasted squash, lentils for added texture, cheese sauce and a crisp crumb, this is a properly comforting side dish. £5/300g


Ready-made side Dishes, vegetarian main course and all the trimmings winner from olive Christmas supermarket awards
Top left: M&S three squash bake | Right: M&S two butternut and sweet potato Rösti | Middle: Lidl deluxe with love garnish pack

A vegetarian main course

Winner: M&S Two Butternut and Sweet Potato Rösti. This veggie dish looks and tastes really fresh and homemade. It packs in plenty of texture – its rösti base is topped with kale, slices of squash, silky onions, feta, crunchy pumpkin seeds and a zingy bright green pesto. £6/500g


All the trimmings

Winner: LIDL Deluxe With Love Garnish Pack. The stuffing stood out in our taste test for its great texture and subtle blend of herbs and spices. £3.99/392g


Best fish centrepiece

Joint winner (A): Co-op Irresistible Side of Salmon with Orange and Cranberries. The flavours and herbs in this salmon side are well balanced. The sweetness gives the fish a lift but is tempered by tart cranberries. Warning: very moreish! £8.99/775g

Joint winner (B): Booths Poached Salmon & Prawn Centrepiece. With tender salmon, juicy prawns and dill cream, this impressive dish looks and tastes great. £29/1kg

Best Fish winner in olive's Christmas supermarket awards
Left: Co-op irresistible side of salmon with orange and cranberries | Right: Booths poached salmon and prawn centrepiece

Best food gift under £20

Joint winner (A): M&S Oudinot Champagne Truffles in a gold jar. There’s substance behind style in this beautiful presentation jar. The artisan chocolates contain a smooth ganache with a boozy kick. £12/145g

Joint winner (B): Aldi Exquisite Jewelled Layered Pie. A stunning hot-crust pastry pie with well-cooked layers of outdoor bred British pork, chicken breast, paté and glacier fruit with balanced spicing, and just the right amount of jelly. £14.99/1.75kg

best food gifts under £20 in olive's Christmas supermarket awards
Right: M&S oudinot champagne truffles in a gold jar | Left: Aldi exquisite jewelled layered pie

The Christmas ham

Winner: Asda Smoked Gammon with Whisky & Ginger Glaze. This moist joint has a delicious glaze to make it extra festive – ideal for a striking centrepiece. £3.50/1.29kg

Christmas Ham winner in olive's Christmas supermarket awards
Asda smoked gammon with whisky and ginger glaze

Best gluten-free Christmas cake

Winner: M&S Hand Decorated Gluten-Free Snowflake Cascade Christmas Cake. With juicy fruit, a great texture and an orange citrus hit, you’d never know this pretty cake was gluten-free. £12/935g


Gluten Free cake and mince pie winners in olive's Christmas supermarket awards
Middle: M&S hand decorated gluten-free snowflake cascade Christmas cake | Top left: Asda free from Mince pies | Bottom Right: Co-op free from mince pies

Best gluten-free mince pies

We made these joint winners – we couldn’t tell them apart! Both had light, crumbly pastry packed with plump fruit with just the right level of sweetness.

Joint winner (A): Asda Free From Mince Pies. £1.75/280g

Joint winner (B): Co-op Free From Mince Pies. £1.99/280g


Best food gift over £20

Winner: LIDL Deluxe Serrano Ham Leg. Everyone loves a Christmas ham. This one had a maturity and depth of flavour with a nutty layer of fat that kept us going back for more. £29.99/6.5-7.5kg

Best food gifts over £20 in olive's Christmas supermarket awards
Lidl deluxe serrano ham leg

Best Christmas pudding

Winner: M&S 8 Month-Matured Vintage Christmas Pudding. A classic example of a Christmas pud with a great shape packed with juicy fruit, spices and nuts, plus a decent whack of booze (port, sherry and cognac). £14/800g

Highly commended: Booths Brandy Port and Walnut Christmas Pudding. If you like marzipan, this is the pud for you. It looks homemade, and has a hint of saltiness for those with less of a sweet tooth. £11/908g


Best Christmas pud, mince pies and alternative drink winners in olive's Christmas supermarket awards
Left: M&S month-matured vintage Christmas pudding | Middle: Asda Extra Special mince pies | Right: Maynard’s 40-year-old tawny port (Aldi)

Mince pies

Winner: Asda Extra Special Mince Pies. Well-balanced mince pies that are juicy with nicely-spiced filling encased in great crumbly pastry. £1.25/pack of six


Alternative Christmas drink

Winner: Maynard’s 40-year-old tawny port (Aldi). Absolutely delicious! A beautiful raisin nose – we wanted to keep drinking it all night long. £29.99/75cl


Best frozen dessert

Winner: Co-op Prosecco & Raspberry Meringue Stack. You wouldn’t know this crowd-pleasing dessert was frozen – the layers hold really well and there are contrasting and defined raspberry and prosecco flavours. £5/577g

Highly commended: M&S Raspberry & Blackcurrant Dome. This shimmery dome reveals beautiful, neat layers when cut into. It has a zingy, berry flavour and a moist, almond sponge. £8/470g

Best frozen dessert winner in olive's Christmas supermarket awards
Co-op prosecco and raspberry meringue stack

A show-off dessert for Christmas Day

Winner: Morrisons The Best Chocolate Christmas Tree. This fabulously kitsch dessert is a stunning centrepiece with defined layers of chocolate mousse, ganache, sponge and feuilletine. £9/410g

Highly commended: M&S Chocolate Pine Cones. These beautifully balanced desserts are unique, festive and have a chocolate sauce centre. £12/540g

Show-off dessert for Christmas day winner in olive's Christmas supermarket awards
Morrisons The Best chocolate Christmas tree

How we chose the winners

The olive team chose 20 categories of products you might want to buy to make Christmas entertaining hassle-free. The supermarkets selected the products they wanted to put forward in each category (we only allowed them one entry per category, so they had to choose carefully). The panel tasted them without knowing where they came from, and rated each individually. As well as a few joint winners, we awarded some highly commendeds to those that deserved a mention.

It’s easy to find the products – just look out for this label in supermarkets:

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olive Christmas supermarket award winner sticker