At this time of the year all the supermarket's put together their own special Christmas sections, with special offers and deals to entice us to spend our cash with them. The cheaper supermarkets are no different, which made us wonder here at PlayPennies. Are Christmas treats from a lower priced supermarket still really treats?
There was only one way to find out, and Aldi were kind enough to allow us a sample of their special Christmas range. Unfortunately, in the interests of impartiality, we the writers at PlayPennies aren't allowed to test the products we receive too. Instead we have a panel of PlayPennies parents who do the hard work (sigh) and try them out for us.
This week it was the turn of PlayPennies mum of three Samantha to try out some Christmas goodies from Aldi.
Samantha received a big brown box from Aldi with traditional tasty Christmas things inside:
- Specially Selected Christmas Pudding - £2.99
- Deep-filled mince pies - 89p for six
- A chocolate Reindeer (think the Lindt Chocolate bunny but loosely reindeer shaped) - 99p
- And a bottle of Champagne! Vueve Monsigny - £9.99 75cl
Her initial rection was mixed. "The champagne and reindeer were good for me...but I can't stand Christmas Pudding or mince pies (although I adore the smell of them), so reviewing these Aldi Christmas goodies became a bit of a family affair!"
Her son loves mince pies so it was over to him for those and he diligently made notes about his first visual and taste impressions.
"Nice and sparkly with the sugar on the domed tops of the mince pies - they look lovely." He was a bit disappointed when he discovered they weren't jam-packed to the pastry with filling and deep-filled seemed to be something of an understatement. But he said they tasted nice, the pastry wasn't dry and they were not too crumbly but crumbly enough. There were six of them in the box and they disappeared pretty quickly.
"How fast food gets devoured in this house is a pretty good barometer of whether or not something's any good!"
The chocolate reindeer was a big hit with everyone. It comes wrapped in gold foil with a little velvet ribbon collar round his neck, with a little tag on it (very Lindt). Samantha's youngest son, five year old Kye, got to eat most of this. "He can be quite fussy when it comes to chocolate, but it got his seal of approval."
Samantha faced a bit of a dilemma when it came to testing the Christmas Pudding. "I have no idea what makes a good Crimbo pudding or not! I wouldn't be able to tell you if one tasted better than another one as they are all hideous as far as I'm concerned - it's the bits of orange and lemon peel in them that i really can't stand. The rest of everything sounds YUM!"
Is she mad?! I mean, we're talking Christmas Pudding here. CHRISTMAS PUDDING! This is quite simply the food of gods. How anyone can call it hideous is utterly beyond me!
Still, Samantha gamely soldiered on. "So I thought I'd better try this one - I mean, what IF this was the Christmas pudding for me!! If I didn't try it, I could be missing out!! I didn't like it." Oh dear.
No one else in her family likes Christmas pudding either but, as luck would have it, Samantha had a friend staying for the weekend who would, in their own words, live on Christmas pudding if they could.
However, it didn't produce the hoped for joy and rapture. "Apparently, it was 'ok, but not great' - a bit dry and just lacked that certain 'something' - I was next to useless in helping to identify what the certain something was. It wasn't horrible...it just wasn't the best Christmas pudding in the world. It did have lots of nuts in it though, and that's good...so I'm told."
Now the champagne was a bit more to Samantha's liking. I have to say I was jealous here, as Veuve is my favourite brand of champers. "The champagne I CAN tell you about - how can I say this without sounding like a total snob? It was good for such a cheap bottle (£9.99). It was either going to be passable and perfectly drinkable or it was going to be hideous - hurrah that it was the former."
It was so acceptable in fact that it disappeared almost as quickly as the mince pies - Samantha thought it was dry, but not so dry that it sucked every bit of moisture out of your mouth! It was light, and went down rather too easily. "We didn't need to put it back in the fridge for the following evening" she confessed.
Overall she thought that if you're looking for something that has the actual word 'Champagne' on it, but don't want to/can't spend upwards of £30 or £40 pounds a bottle, then this really isn't too bad as a cheap alternative.
From a family obsessed by Lindt, their praise of the reindeer is high praise indeed! That definitely was a winner. And the champagne also seems like quite a good bargain. While the Christmas pudding and the mince pies didn't get as much praise, they certainly weren't bad either. It does go to show that you can still stuff yourself silly at Christmas on a small budget!