It has to be one of the best gigs in the lead-up to the festive season: taste-testing Christmas puddings.
Consumer group Choice took the plum role (pun intended) and has dished out the results of its latest Christmas pudding testing, just in time for you to nab one before the big day.
"Coles took out the top spot in our testing this year, with their Finest Luxury Christmas Pudding receiving an impressive score of 84 per cent from our expert judges," said Choice Editor Pru Engel.
"The Coles pudding was also one of the cheapest products in our test, coming in at just $1.33 per 100 grams, beating a number of more expensive, specialist puddings on offer."
Choice experts tested 18 Christmas puddings, from high-end offerings by specialist producers to supermarket brand puddings that are available nationally instore or online.
"Our expert panel blind tasted all 18 Christmas puddings, and assessed them on a number of criteria, including appearance and quality of finish, flavour and aroma, and quality of the mixture," Pru said.
Coles Finest Luxury Christmas Pudding
Choice Expert Rating: 84 per cent
Price: $12 ($1.33 per 100g)
"According to our judges, the Coles pudding is a great option if you're looking for a pudding that is rich and generous with fruit and nuts. It's moist but doughy, and works well as a special occasion pudding," Pru said.
The Traditional Plum Pudding Co Homemade Plum Pudding
Choice Expert Rating: 78 per cent
Price: $36 ($6 per 100g)
"Our judges praised The Traditional Plum Pudding Co pudding in particular for its good flavour, colour and aroma," Pru said.
Newcastle Pudding Lady Traditional Christmas Pudding
Choice Expert Rating: 74 per cent
Price: $31 ($6.20 per 100g)
"The Newcastle Pudding Lady pudding was commended for its pleasant aroma, colour and texture. Our judges said they would be happy to serve this pudding themselves," Pru said.
"We tested 18 Christmas puddings, from high-end offerings by specialist producers to supermarket brand puddings that are available nationally instore or online," Pru said. "Price is based on the price we paid for one pudding (not including postage and handling where applicable) in October 2022.
"We re-heated puddings in the microwave according to the directions on the pack. Our experts tasted the Christmas puddings 'blind' (without knowing the brands). They assessed the puddings for appearance and quality of finish, moistness, flavour and aroma, texture, and quality of the mixture."
The experts were looking for good shape; weight; balanced fruit, spice and alcohol flavours; even distribution of good-quality fruit ingredients; and puds that held their shape when cut.
The Choice Expert Rating is made up of 90 per cent sensory attributes (appearance/quality of finish 30 per cent , flavour and aroma 25 per cent , mixture quality 25 per cent , moistness/texture 20 per cent and 10 per cent nutrition determined solely by the Health Star Rating.
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