Today is officially the biggest day of the year for supermarkets, when they are rammed with shoppers scrambling to get their hands on the last turkey and bag of sprouts. But before you venture out and join the hoardes, read our foodie guide to what's hot, and what's not.
Turkey is not having a good Christmas, apparently…
HOT! Glitter (Mariah Carey would be proud)
It’s all about edible glitter this festive season with M&S selling fruit juice laced with glitter (like a festive snowglobe in a bottle) as well as smoked salmon topped with gold leaf. Sainsbury’s are doing glistening edible Christmas baubles made from chocolate, while last but not least, Asda has a glitter-topped version of the traditional pudding to tempt us. Sparkly!
M&S Glitter juice
HOT! ‘Flocking’ (And you thought it was just for wallpaper!)
Waitrose, who have cornered the market in recent years for 'It' puddings and the ensueing hysterical Christmas Eve stampede of shoppers clamouring to get heir hands on one, have enlisted Heston Blumenthal this year to turn his talents to the pudding. The result? A designer dessert that has been 'flocked' (ie painted raspberry with a special spray gun). Not only that but it has several fancy layers including lychee mousse, strawberry and lemon confit, rose water mousse, white chocolate and nut feuilletine, almond sponge, alpine strawberries, charlotte sponge and lychee liqueur... A proper showstopping Heston-esque centrepiece, though call us unsophisticated but we think it falls down on one little thing: it’s just not death-by-chocolatey enough for us.
The Heston from Waitrose Strawberry and Lychee Frozen Gateau, £12.99.
HOT! A Tapas-style Christmas dinner
Sharing plates is a trend that’s gathering pace in London’s restaurant-scene, and some commentators it is a trend that could move into Christmas lunch territory. Which means an end to the traditional 3 or 4-course lunch (smoked salmon starter, turkey main, pud, then cheese). Instead you pick from a smorgsabord of a variety of small taster dishes. Great for picky eaters who get food envy (and spend their whole time lusting after other people’s food choices). Not so great for the meat-and-two-veg traditionalist who likes his grub.
HOT! ‘Alternative’ Mincepies
Apparently young people have ‘gone off the taste of mincemeat’, so much so that this year supermarket giant Tesco have recently launched a range of mincepie alternatives as they’re worried that the mincepie, and the Christmas pudding, are ‘going out of fashion’. We were concerned that this would leave us a mince pie-shaped hole in our lives so when one of Grazia’s favourite foodies Sophie Wright offered to devise us a brilliant recipe for alternative Christmas mince pies, we rejoiced! These have a chocolate and caramely pecan nutty filling – and are deee-licious! Click here for the recipe.
HOT! Sweet Vegetables
It seems we’re a nation of vegetable haters as this Christmas there’s a massive trend in sweetening vegetables. Waitrose are offering Salted Caramel Parsnips, £2.49, while Marks and Spencer offer a very palatable Red Cabbage & Honey-Roasted Carrots, £4.50. And if you like your veg sweeter, but don’t fancy the sugar-coated part, this Christmas Waitrose have developed a range of ‘kid-friendly’ sprouts, which, they promise, are ‘less bitter.’ If they’re kid-friendly, maybe they’ll be adult-friendly too…
HOT! Everything but turkey!
Apparently the price of turkeys has risen at more than twice the rate of inflation as a result of rising feed costs. So supermarkets have risen to the challenge with a range of turkey alternatives. One of the dishes that is getting the most buzz is Lidl’s Whole Cooked Lobster, 'cooked whole and fast-frozen to retain the flavour', £4.99.
AND NOW FOR THE NOTS…
NOT! The Christmas Tinner
This Christmas dinner in a can, £1,99, Gamer is made up of nine layers of traditional festive food, from scrambled egg starter, turkey dinner with all the trimmings and followed by Christmas pudding and mince pies. Apparently its inventor, designer Chris Godfrey, created it as he ‘didn’t want to waste time on the kitchen’. Fortunately this ‘culinary masterpiece’ has now sold out (to whom, we’re not so sure). It makes us wonder, whatever next, deep fried Christmas dinner.....?
Oh, it’s been done already…!