Value for money


This week CONOR POPEchooses cranberry sauce

Avoca Cranberry Sauce with Port €6.20 for 520g

Speaking of Avoca, we also found this sauce there, obviously enough. It made a very good first impression – well, once we’d gotten over the shock of the price, that is – and we loved the whole cranberries which had a decent crunch to them despite the extensive processing they must have gone through. The port was also very prominent and we could smell the booze the moment we opened the jar. It is sweet but not excessively so and has a complexity of flavours that other sauces would do well to match.

Verdict: Lovely. Dear.


Specially Selected Cranberry Sauce with Port €1.49 for 200g €7.45 per kg

Stonewall Kitchen Cranberry Horseradish Sauce €6.50 for 340g

And match: the Avoca sauce is exactly what the good people at Aldi have done. We don’t know who makes this, but it is very, very like its considerably more expensive cousin. The cranberry content is a little bit lower and the port content is a little higher but in terms of taste, texture and appearance the two products are very hard to separate. In fact, the only thing that separates them is the price. This is much cheaper which makes it very hard to beat. In terms of taste it has a pleasing sharpness, the cranberries have a nice texture and the port brings an extra kick to the Christmas party.

Verdict: Lovely. Cheap


Stonewall Kitchen Cranberry Horseradish Sauce €6.50 for 340g

Well? Which is it, Stonewall? Is it horseradish sauce? Or is it cranberry sauce? When we saw this we were mildly repulsed and convinced that this mad combination of flavours and ingredients would just not work. We were wrong. It is obviously not your typical cranberry sauce and the sweetness you might normally expect has been almost entirely replaced with a spicy kick which will go very well with your turkey dinner. It is a rough textured sauce and the bits of cranberry skin have been left behind. It has a very pure and simple ingredient list. It is, however, pricey and will be hard to find – we sourced it in our local Avoca.

Verdict: Very good


Supervalu Supreme New England Cranberry Sauce €1.93 for 227g €8.50 per kg

Had we tried this in isolation we would probably have had a better impression of it but we didn’t and the reality is that it pales in comparison to some of its more upmarket rivals – and indeed its rival from Aldi. It has a gelatinous texture which makes it more jam-like than sauce-like and it lacks anything by way of real flavour. While it is not bad by any means, it is uninspiring and will not do much for your Christmas dinner plate or the post-Christmas turkey sandwiches.

Verdict: A little dull