I tried food advent calendars including cheese and Pringles – the winner is heaven on a plate | The Sun

WITH such a huge variety of advent calendars now on sale, the countdown to Christmas can be almost as exciting as the big day itself.

And if you want something that tickles your tastebuds but feels a bit more exciting than a traditional chocolate calendar, you will not be disappointed this year.

We have found a huge range packed with everything from popcorn and marshmallows to biscuits, crisps, jam and cheese.

One promises to take you on a "spice journey" and others have to be stored in the fridge and freezer.

Mum-of-three Lynsey Hope, 41, from West Malling, Kent, checked out dozens to see which were the best on offer to help you count down until Christmas Day.

Here she shares her top ten:

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Popcorn Shed Gourmet Popcorn Advent Calendar

  • £21.99, popcornshed.com
  • Estimated value of contents: £10

Lynsey says: "Each door hides a tiny bag of popcorn in unusual flavours such as peanut butter, pecan pie and cookies and cream.

"Some were lovely, some were not but it was fun trying them out.

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"The bags are tiny – around 7g each day – so great for your waistline but not best for getting your money's worth.

"If you fancy trying them out, you can buy big bundles on the website including 14 individual sized 22g bags for £20.

"Still, it's a lovely early gift for any popcorn lovers out there."

  • TASTE: 5/10
  • VALUE: 3/10

Cocoba Christmas Hot Chocolate Advent Calendar

  • £59.95, cocobachocolate.com
  • Estimated value of contents: £73

Lynsey says: "Wow, this is an impressive and gigantic advent calendar – it's actually quite heavy to lift!

"It's got some amazing treats inside including 12 hot chocolate bombs in different flavours, eight hot chocolate spoons and sprinkles.

"It sounds very expensive when you think it costs nearly £60 but if you bought this stuff individually it would cost even more, so if you like hot chocolate or you are a fan of Cocoba, you're getting a bargain here.

"Everything included was incredibly delicious – the best hot chos around.

"It felt really indulgent and special, warming for the winter and it is perfect for the run up to Christmas Day."

  • TASTE: 10/10
  • VALUE: /10

Bonne Maman Advent Calendar

  • £25.99, bonnemaman.co.uk
  • Estimated value of contents: £9.20

Lynsey says: "This lovely calendar has a lovely carousel design and behind each door is a 30g mini jar of jam with flavours including peach with mint spread, strawberry and redcurrant, Fig with cardamom extra jam and cherry with elderflower spread.

"You could buy 15 jars for just £5.99 on Amazon, though you would only get to choose one flavour and you can't get the more unusual varieties included with this calendar.

"My daughter Olive, five, loved trying the different flavours for breakfast each morning and we will definitely be buying some of them again."

  • TASTE: 6/10
  • VALUE: 4/10

M&S 24 Biscuits 'til Christmas Advent Calendar

  • £8, M&S stores or ocado.com
  • Estimated value of contents: £3.80

Lynsey says: "Loved this offering from M&S which gives you a biscuit every day during advent rather than the traditional chocolate.

"There are three festive flavours on rotation – vanilla cream, honeycomb cream and clementine cream – and each one is individually foil-wrapped and tasty.

"If you're not bothered about when you eat them though, you could buy an equally delicious M&S Biscuit Selection for just £4.50, which contains 70g more biccies!"

  • TASTE: 7/10
  • VALUE: 6/10

Pringles Crisps 12 Days of Christmas Advent Calendar

  • £19.99, amazon.co.uk
  • Estimated value of contents: £10.80

Lynsey says: "Once you pop you really can't stop but you won't need to with this calendar, which allows you one 40g tub of Pringles for 12 days in the run up to Christmas.

"Who doesn't love a Pringle? It's not great value though.

"The calendar contains 12 40g tubs which cost around 90p each if you buy them in a supermarket.

"If you bought the big tubes, you get the same amount as in two and a half tubes, which would only cost you a fiver.

"They probably wouldn't last until Christmas though so this could be better for your waistline."

  • TASTE: 9/10
  • VALUE: 5/10

Little Moons Mochi Ice Cream Advent Calendar

  • £35, getir.uk
  • Estimated value of contents: £29

Lynsey says: "I'd never tried these Little Moons mochi bites before but whatever the flavour, they are heaven on the tastebuds!

"They are made by wrapping bite-sized balls of creamy gelato ice cream in a layer of soft mochi dough.

"There are 13 flavours to choose from including Golden Blond Chocolate, Salted Caramel, Pistachio and Chocolate and Hazelnut.

"A pack of six would usually set you back £5 and you get 24 here so the value for money is good AND you get to try all the lovely flavours.

"This is a real treat.

"The only downside is trying to find room for it if you have a small freezer and having to get it out every day to show people when you can't stop talking about it."

  • TASTE: 10/10
  • VALUE: 9/10
  • OVERALL SCORE: 10/10

So Wrong It's Nom Cheese Advent Calendar

  • £8, sainsburys.co.uk
  • Estimated value of contents: £6.80

Lynsey says: "Contains 24 mini wheels of cheese in individual packaging and they come in nine different varieties including Applewood West Cheddar, Ilchester Aged Red Leicester and Mexicana, which is a fiery mix of bell, jalapeno and chilli peppers.

"It's great value, containing 480g of cheese in 24 separate 20g wheels.

"You could buy two packs of 12 mini Ilchester cheeses for £3.40 so you're not paying much extra for the novelty calendar and the selection is good.

"This is a great choice for any cheese lover though it does have to be stored in the fridge, which is a bit of a pain."

  • TASTE: 9/10
  • VALUE: 9/10

Nespresso The Original Advent Calendar

  • £41, nespresso.com
  • Estimated value of contents: £52

Lynsey says: "At first glance, this feels like an expensive way to get your coffee fix, but if you bought the most expensive Nespresso capsules they cost £8.20 for ten.

"You get 24 capsules here and a cute little espresso mug worth £7.50 on Christmas Eve, so not too bad at all if you love coffee or want to have a caffeine addict friend who'd love this as a gift.

"I really enjoyed trying the different varieties each day. Perfecto."

  • TASTE: 7/10
  • VALUE: 10/10

The Naked Marshmallow Advent Calendar

  • £20, nakedmarshmallow.co.uk
  • Estimated value of contents: £12.50

Lynsey says: "Twenty five gooey marshmallows in 12 different flavours including vanilla bean, salted caramel, candy floss, rhubarb and custard and bubblegum.

"The reverse of each door tells you which flavour you'll be enjoying that day along with a festive joke, fun fact or a discount code for the website.

"The large central day for Christmas Day features a milk chocolate enrobed salted caramel marshmallow bar, which I have to say, was delicious.

"The rest of the flavours were hit and miss but it was fun trying them out.

" It's not bad value.

"You can buy five flavours for £25 online and you'd get more, but the novelty calendar is fun and means you don't stuff your face with too many."

  • TASTE: 5/10
  • VALUE: 5/10

The Spice Discovery Advent Calendar

  • £28.50, souschef.co.uk
  • Estimated value of contents: £30

Lynsey says: "Featuring 24 unique spices, salts and peppers, this is a lovely calendar for foodies who enjoy trying new flavours.

"Open a door each day through December to find a new sachet of sweet or savoury spices.

"Each one comes complete with tasting notes and recipe ideas.

"Six spice pots from the Terre Exotique brand will set you back around £30 online and while you get more, you don't get to explore as many different flavours.

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"For someone who likes trying out new recipes, this is a brilliant way to countdown to Christmas."

  • TASTE: 8/10
  • VALUE: 9/10

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