CHRISTMAS shoppers looking for the tastiest fare for the best value for money this festive season now have an easier time of it, after consumer advocate group Choice taste tested 14 puddings.
Taste-testers assessed the quality of finish, moisture, texture, mixture quality, flavour and aroma of 14 Christmas puddings stocked in major supermarkets.
The study found that when it came to buying that Christmas feast, it was worth spending a little extra for a better pud.
The 14 puddings tested ranged from 71 cents per 100g to $5.50 per 100g, and from generic home brand puds to higher-end boutique brands.
Choice spokeswoman Ingrid Just said the top pudding, Itha's Traditional Plum Pudding, ticked all the boxes for homemade appearance, well-prepared fruit and consistency of cake mixture.
"At $4.20 per 100g, Itha's Traditional Plum Pudding sits at the more expensive end of the scale," she said.
"Our testers said that, generally, a higher price indicates better quality ingredients and a better tasting pudding."
The four best tasting puddings all cost more than $3.60 per 100g, with the best budget buy being Woolworths Gold Vintage Christmas Pudding at $1.98 per 100g.
"The expert taste-testers also considered the shape and weight of the puddings and the balance of fruit, spice and alcohol flavours," Ms Just said.
"They were looking for the even distribution of good quality fruit ingredients, and puds that held their shape when cut."
The long-popular Lions Traditional Christmas Pudding, at $1.63 per 100g, also scored well among the less expensive options.
Coles and Woolworths' mid-tier home brand (private label) puddings and both puddings from Aldi did not rate well.
"Whether it be a homemade pudding or a shop-bought product, a Christmas pudding made from quality ingredients is not cheap or quick and easy to make," Ms Just said.
"So it's reasonable to assume you might have to fork out a little more for a top-quality pud," says Ms Just.
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