Just 174 days to wait for ‘Christmas dinner in a pie’ washed down with Brussels sprouts

IT MAY only have just passed the halfway point of the year, but the country’s leading retailers are hoping there is already at appetite for festive celebrations.

Liquid Brussels sprouts, an edible cheeseboard and a “Christmas dinner in a pie” are all set to adorn the nation’s table during the Christmas season this year.

Marks & Spencer is banking on an appetite for Brussels sprouts with the launch of not just a juice but also a coleslaw made from the vegetable as part of its festive food range, announced six months ahead of Christmas Day.

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The retailer, which started out on Kirkgate Market in Leeds in 1884, says the coleslaw makes the “perfect accompaniment to turkey sandwiches and Boxing Day buffets”, while the juice means the Brussels sprout has “gone gourmet”.

And following the fish and chip pie, the retailer has developed a Christmas dinner in a pie complete with turkey, stuffing, pigs in blankets and cranberry sauce, while a cheeseboard is made from crackers to be broken off as you eat.

M&S said a team of 40 product developers began working on the range in September last year, visiting locations such as New York, Barcelona and Paris for inspiration.

Meanwhile, Waitrose unveiled a “turkey cracker”, a £30 alternative to the customary joke and hat. The cracker-shaped turkey meal, which feeds four to six people, comes rolled and wrapped in a butter muslin with a rich fruit stuffing.

And chef Heston Blumenthal, whose previous Christmas puddings for Waitrose have ended up on eBay after customers stripped them from shop shelves, has created a multi-tiered chocolate bar with layers of chocolate caramel mousse, chocolate biscuit, salted caramel and nougat mousse.