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The humble roast potato has been hailed as the best part of the Christmas dinner.

Researchers found the much loved crispy roastie leaves everything else on the festive plate, including pigs in blankets, trailing in its wake.

It even beat the star of the show, the Christmas turkey, with stuffing and gravy completing the top five.

Surprisingly, Brussels sprouts made it into sixth place in the poll, ahead of parsnips, carrots and the festive staple cranberry sauce.

It also emerged seven in 10 consider Christmas dinner to be one of their favourite meals of the year, although 61 per cent of cooks admit they feel under pressure to make it perfect.

And an adventurous three in 10 admitted they give their Christmas foods extra wow by adding herbs, spices or an unexpected ingredient.

Garlic and rosemary are the most popular herbs and spices to add a twist on Christmas food as well as cinnamon, sage and thyme.

Nic Yates, head of UK marketing at herbs and spice makers, Schwartz, which commissioned the research, said: “It’s great to see that along with the traditional favourites we all look forward to, cooks across the nation are also using quick tricks and hacks to add extra flavours and aromas, making good food, into great food.

“A simple sprinkle of parsley onto your carrots, nutmeg on sprouts or chilli in your mince pies can make your Christmas dinner even more memorable.”

The study also found there are around one in six who admit they only have turkey because it’s a tradition, even confessing they don’t really like the taste.

The same number forego turkey entirely.

One in ten Brits have even complained to their festive host because their favourite item wasn’t present at the Christmas dinner.

As a result, we’re also more likely to prefer being a guest at someone else’s Christmas dinner than making one ourselves.

But, despite being wedded to our favourite parts of the Christmas meal, 46 per cent of adults prefer attending a meal or party where the festive food was slightly different to traditional fare and look for that distinctive twist on the classics.

A fifth have a secret trick to jazz up their festive food, with one respondent admitting they add a half-teaspoon of curry powder in to festive gravy to add depth without making it overly spicy.

Another suggested adding nutmeg to sprouts and a dusting of cinnamon and a sprinkling of cumin to seasonal roasted veg.

The study also found Brits are still most likely to call on mum for tips on how to elevate their Christmas cooking, and rely more on cookbooks than the internet for festive cooking advice.

But with all that glorious food around over the festive period, it’s no surprise a huge 84 per cent of respondents admit to over-indulging on food and drink.

Even then there’s still plenty left over – three quarters of Brits polled, via, find themselves making meals out of Christmas leftovers long after the big day has come and gone – a perfect time to create new and delicious recipes.

Nic Yates added: “Christmas can be stressful, with so many meals to cook, people to entertain, presents to buy.

“This year we want to help with simple and easy ways to make your food even more special.

“Adding a simple twist to traditional meals, treats and snacks will impress your friends and family and create new traditions the whole family can enjoy.”

*To coincide with the survey findings, Schwartz has created this puzzling image, where a festive favourite is hidden among the Christmas turkey, pigs in blankets and potatoes.

Can you spot the single Brussels sprout hiding on the dinner table?


1. Roast potatoes

2. Pigs in blankets

3. Turkey

4. Stuffing

5. Gravy

6. Brussels sprouts

7. Yorkshire pudding

8. Parsnips

9. Carrots

10. Cranberry sauce

11. Peas

12. Broccoli

13. Cauliflower cheese

14. Bread sauce

15. Beef

16. Chicken

17. Red cabbage

18. Swede

19. Green beans

20. Leek



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