Value for money: chicken sandwiches

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This week, Value for money samples four varieties of chicken and stuffing sandwiches

M&S CHICKEN & STUFFING

€3.49 for 159g, €21.95 per kg

THIS REALLY is the polar opposite of the Aldi sandwich in terms of taste (and, sadly, price). Marks and Spencer always do good sandwiches so it will come as no surprise that this is best by a home counties mile and the only one we actually enjoyed eating. The malted bread is top notch, the chicken plentiful and real (in the sense that, apart from a tiny amount of salt, nothing has been added to it), and the pork and sage stuffing full of flavour. M&S has made its sandwich both more substantial and tastier by adding sausage meat to the mix. We were sad when it was gone.

VERDICT: Excellent

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ALDI CHICKEN & STUFFING

€0.99 for 134g, €7.38 per kg

WHILE THE M&S SANDWICH is remarkable this is remarkably cheap. It’s a long way from gourmet but not the worst lunchtime sarnie we have ever tasted. It is fresh, the bread (Irish Pride) is fine and the stuffing is surprisingly pleasant if just a bit salty. But does it make for an appealing and satisfying lunch? Not really. There isn’t a lot of sandwich in the packet and it is made with just 16 per cent chicken, some of which was just a little slimy. The “spread” was laid on way too thick, was greasy and not at all pleasant. The ingredient list is impossible to read without giving yourself a headache.

VERDICT: Very cheap

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CENTRA CHICKEN & STUFFING

€2.50 for 157g, €15.92 per kg

WE SAW this Centra-branded product being delivered (in a Freshways van) to our local shop early last Tuesday morning so figured it was as fresh as it could be. It is pleasant and will fill a lunchtime gap but it’s not going to live long in the memory. Almost as soon as we’d swallowed the last mouthful we’d forgotten what it tasted like. The oatmeal bread is grand, without being special, the chicken has a nice texture and the stuffing is a little bland. There wasn’t a lot of it in the sandwich we tried and it was drowned in mayonnaise.

VERDICT: Average

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TESCO CHICKEN & STUFFING

€2.99 for 144g, €20.76 per kg

AT JUST 280 calories, this is the most diet-friendly sandwich we tried. While the “reduced fat” mayonnaise and “reduced fat” stuffing is all well and good, and will appeal to some people keen to shed pounds while they lunch, we found the lightness took too much from the taste. The chicken pieces were big and solid but had an odd sweetness that was not entirely pleasing - they’d been plumped-up with potato starch, dextrose, salt and sugar, which doesn’t sound appealing to us. Although to be fair to Tesco, the same criticism could be levelled at the other brands, with the exception of M&S.

VERDICT: Dull

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EXCELLENT * * * * *

GREAT * * * *

FINE * * *

BELOW PAR * *

AWFUL *

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