Dec 17


FT + WOBS SANGER ADVENT CALENDAR8 comments • 320 views

Over in an unsatisfactory place, my esteemed FT colleague The Barnet Ape — who claims he does not eat xmas sandwiches and has therefore declined to contribute to this calendar — opines as follows:

cranberry-sauceAdvent Calendar Of Christmas Horror Day 3: Cranberry Sauce

“This might just be me, but I don’t need jam on my dinner. Yes, turkey is a dry meat, and yes sometimes a bit of sweetness can perk up a dish, but there isn’t any call for it with Turkey. Nothing is enhanced by this overwhelming sweetness. And that’s fine, this has never been a huge issue in the past because it is a sauce, it is not compulsory and so the Ocean Spray can stay away.

“Except it isn’t optional in “Festive Foods”. A Christmas Sandwich is basically Christmas dinner between bread, and the cranberry sauce is seen to be obligatory. Is there a turkey based Xmas sandwich that doesn’t have a smear (thick, cheap layer) of the red terror? Can I have a Christmas sandwich with gravy instead? And by the way, aren’t cranberries supposed to be a bit tart? This is basically diabetes in red clothes.”

signed yr pal Peter Baran

In the comments to this very wrong stance, various cranks, crackpots and cackling menks er other fine people offer support and agreement: arguing for example that breadsauce is the only acceptable turkey-moisturiser, that the admixture of sweet and savoury must always be policed, that mint sauce on lamb is also bad ect ect. It is pointed out that chutney is a counter-example to the main underlying thesis — a hostility to jam on your dinner — but then the wrong conclusion is once again drawn. If anything the problem with most current xmas sandwiches is BACON: there is often too much and it makes the whole affair nastily salty. (I’m looking at you M&S — tho I am not yet blogging you.)

“Is there a turkey based Xmas sandwich that doesn’t have a smear (thick, cheap layer) of the red terror? Can I have a Christmas sandwich with gravy instead?”

obviously this^^^ is a question worth asking — we shd pursue it in the upcoming days! Do any festive sangers have gravy? But cranberry is good not bad. it is not really a moisteriser and it is by no means new (it was probably inherited from the days when a fancy xmas was goosed-based — you need something nicely tart and acidic to cut through the goosefat). also sweet and savoury on the same plate is classic pre-modern pagan cuisine (and the wobs sanger is nothing if not a pagan strand of our cultural life). if we’re going to insist on unwonted xmas-feast changes, end Fanny Cradock’s satanic reign and bring back goose!! GOOSE!!



  1. 1
    CarsmileSteve on 4 Dec 2017 #

    The terror that is the EAT Pigs in Blankets inna Bun (as spotted on Golden Square last week) comes, I believe, with gravy, but I’m not frequently in the vicinity of an EAT (and we’ll return to what I did have later)

  2. 2
    lockedintheattic on 4 Dec 2017 #

    That awful festive jam ruins almost all Christmas sandwiches. It wasn’t always thus – the plague has spread over the years. From memory, I think that last to give up was the Upper Crust, who used to have gravy rather than the red evil in their seasonal offering.

  3. 3
    lockedintheattic on 4 Dec 2017 #

    This feels like it needs a poll to settle the matter

  4. 4

    traditionally this is what boxing day is for

  5. 5
    Tom on 4 Dec 2017 #

    The problem for me is quantity not presence. As the Ape says, it’s a cheap option to plump out a sandwich, but you want hints of sweetness (or of tartness I SUPPOSE) not a great big layer of it. Better some than none, though.

    (On my Xmas dinner plate a dollop of it sits off to the side, and I like it to bleed into the gravy and stuffing a bit, rather than actually make contact with the turkey itself.)

  6. 6
    weej on 4 Dec 2017 #

    I love bacon in its right place, but the dry, cold, congealed bacon in pre-packed sandwiches is an absolute disgrace. I’m afraid that ten years in East Asia has convinced me that cold sandwiches in the winter is some kind of British Stockholm Syndrome thing, and will consequently never try a Christmas sandwich, for better or worse. Cranberry sauce sounds pretty good fwiw.

  7. 7
    weej on 4 Dec 2017 #

    Oh, and my summertime quest to try every different coronation chicken sandwich resulted in a second-from-bottom placing for the unutterably bland M&S effort (though it was still better than the one I got from Morrissons which gave me food poisoning and, even worse, had chopped green peppers in it) so not sure why they still have any kind of sandwich-making reputation at this point.

  8. 8

    the gravy i make for the actual real xmas turkey itself includes some cranberry sauce dissolved in it (since this is the right and correct way to make it)

    i do think there’s probably a story to tell abt shifting proportions recently (esp.as i still haven’t actually eaten this year’s first pret xmas feast, despite reviewing them on friday)

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