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The Blog from Oi Polloi presents: by Oi Polloi •

Finding the right mince pie is a quest fraught with peril. You’d think manufacturers would have nailed the formula by now, but alas, the world of commercially-available mince pies is still an absolute minefield.

It’s with this in mind that we set our crack team of mince pie testers (dubbed ‘The Mince Guys’ by themselves) the thankless and difficult task of finding the best mince pie money can buy… within a mile radius of Oi Polloi HQ, that is.

Take it away fellas.

Also, a word of warning – there’s some foul language ahead. Mince pies stir deep, uncontainable emotions after all…

 

Aldi Frangipan, £2.00

A whole lot of eh. Very cakey – good in terms of overall flavour, but cakey does not a mince pie make. Pretty much a cherry bakewell but with mincemeat filling instead jam. Inconsistent appearance does it no favours either”.

AVERAGE SCORES OUT OF TEN

Fill capacity: 2.6
Dusting: 5.8
Picture likeness: 3
Pastry quality: 6.8
Value for money: 6
Flavour: 7
Final score: 52.0%

Morrison’s ‘The Best’, £2.00

A decent all-rounder, although failed to excel in any one single category. Pastry was decent texture-wise, but was let down by its crumbly construction. Was the pastry a touch thick? Perhaps, although this enables near 100% fill capacity”.

AVERAGE SCORES OUT OF TEN

Fill capacity: 7.6
Dusting: 3.4
Picture likeness: 6.2
Pastry quality: 5.6
Value for money: 6.6
Flavour: 6.8
Final score: 60.3%

M&S Classic All Butter, £1.50

All but one of us (Joe) really appreciated the intensely buttery pastry, but his child-like palate isn’t to be trusted. A true classic in all sense of the word, absolutely no gimmicks to be found here. An early frontrunner in the OP Mince Pie awards 2021”.

AVERAGE SCORES OUT OF TEN

Fill capacity: 6.8
Dusting: 4.4
Picture likeness: 9
Pastry quality: 7.4
Value for money: 9
Flavour: 7.8
Final score: 74.0%

Tesco Mince Pies, £1

Underwhelming. You count on Tesco for lacklustre consistency, but this failed to meet even that meagre expectation. Picture likeness is a fucked chaos. Pastry quality also failed to make a positive impression, with the most common complaint being too thick and stodgy. Debate flared when discussing flavour, but the general consensus was that the aftertaste spoiled proceedings. Joe: 'it’s not a bad mince pie' – wrong again”.

AVERAGE SCORES OUT OF TEN

Fill capacity: 5.8
Dusting: 1.6
Picture likeness: 2.6
Pastry quality: 2.8
Value for money: 3.4
Flavour: 3.6
Final score: 23.3%

Aldi Holly Lane Mince Pies, £0.79

An absolute hate crime of a mince pie. Half of the test group failed to finish the specimen. Just appalling. Tasted like bad steamed veg out of a plastic bag. Pastry crumbled upon even the slightest interrogation. All of us were admittedly duped by the picture likeness, which scored high to begin with, but after the first bite and we saw what was inside the devil, these scores dropped dramatically. We want to spit in the face of the baker who put this minger in the oven”.

AVERAGE SCORES OUT OF TEN

Fill capacity: 3.2
Dusting: 1.4
Picture likeness: 5.8
Pastry quality: 1
Value for money: 1.6
Flavour: 1
Final score: 18.0%

Co-op Mince Pies, £1

Another dud that should have been decent. Dusting and picture likeness (or lack thereof) inspired uproar and we seriously considered a strongly-worded letter to Co-op customer services. The quality of pastry was surprisingly poor too. Flavour? Give a shit. Co-op’s baked goods rarely disappoint (re. Their chocolate croissants), but these? Must try harder”.

AVERAGE SCORES OUT OF TEN

Fill capacity: 6.8
Dusting: 1.2
Picture likeness: 2.6
Pastry quality: 3.6
Value for money: 5.6
Flavour: 6.2
Final score: 32.0%

Spar Luxury All Butter, £2

An absolute dark horse howitzer. No one expects Spar to dish out anything other than overpriced confectionery, so to taste the bountiful fruits this doozy provided was a real shock to the system. Filled to the goddamn gizzards with mincemeat. Dusted adequately. Pastry was admittedly a bit crumbly, but all of this could be overlooked in favour of the taste-bud-tingling flavour and the sheer amount of mincemeat on offer”.

AVERAGE SCORES OUT OF TEN

Fill capacity: 9.2
Dusting: 6.8
Picture likeness: 7.8
Pastry quality: 5.6
Value for money: 6.6
Flavour: 7.2
Final score: 57.3%

Lidl Deluxe All Butter, £1.49

Straight down the middle. Neither offensive nor titillating. Could park a Ford Transit between the filling and the pastry. Pastry itself was nice – buttery and chewy without being gummy. A tightrope act not many can perform. Other than that, not a lot to write home about”.

AVERAGE SCORES OUT OF TEN

Fill capacity: 2.8
Dusting: 3.8
Picture likeness: 4.8
Pastry quality: 5.8
Value for money: 4.4
Flavour: 4.8
Final score: 39.3%

Well, who’s the winner boys?

After not much deliberation we’re ready to crown M&S’ Classic All Butter mince pies as the best in the ‘biz, with a strong second place given to Spar’s Luxury All Butter. The rest of ‘em can get in the bin”.

You heard it here first folks…

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