Pigs in blankets are the best part of your Christmas dinner, but why do people insist on buying the ready-made, tiny monstrosities from the supermarkets? We always make our own so we have gone beyond the call of duty to rate five versions of this festive favourite. We bought 2 chipolata and 5 streaky bacon rashers from each butcher - if you make your own you will not need so much bacon, so bear this in mind when comparing the unit prices....
Each sample was voted on four aspects - Flavour, Juiciness (the kids' choice of category), Appearance & Aroma, and Texture. Marks out of 5 in each category meaning a maximum possible score of 80 points. Writing down of scores was hidden so that there could be no influencing between judges. And the winner was....
Sample A - Southern & Thorpe of Ruskington. Congratulations, another "prestigious" award. Scoring 57 out of 80 was a well deserved victory. Judges voted exceptionally high on Texture, well done chaps! Unit price for these was £0.71.
Runners-up were Odlings Butchers of Navenby (sample E), scoring 48 points. The flavour and appearance were both excellent, a well-earned silver medal. These cost £1.04 each.
In a close third place were the pigs in blankets from Picks of Dorrington (sample B). These were a good all-rounder with consistent scores across the categories. Cost was £0.75.
Close behind in fourth spot were Ancaster Butchers, sample C. Superb scores for flavour and texture were annoyingly cancelled out by the streaky bacon being a little on the short side and splitting apart a bit. I will be re-making these and using to pieces of bacon for each. Cost £1.11.
Fifth and last by a huge margin were the awful Richmonds/Tesco combo. Richmond chipolata looked disgusting when cold and tasted even worse when cook. All slop, no chop. The Fake Farm bacon shrank too much, leaving the end results looking like dismembered fingers. Cost £0.43 each - and a waste of 43p at that!
All in all a very informative and mostly tasty way to spend a family afternoon. The conclusion must be to buy your own quality ingredients from your local butcher and create your own pigs in blankets, as opposed to buying the pre-packed, tiny, unsatisfying product from the supermarkets.
Ah, good old Richmond's. Always reliable - reliably bad that is, and guaranteed to ruin every meal.
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