Summary Awards

Rising above the chaff, our superstar crumpets for 2017 (with a couple of updates for 2018) are:

"Nice and springy" … "Pleasant smell, good flavour" … "Fresh and doughy" … "Rich and tasty" … "I would definitely have them again"

Tesco's new recipe has propelled them from nowhere in last year's taste tests to dizzying heights. Well done Tesco!

"Springy, spongey" … "Very fresh" … "Excellent texture and taste" … "Crispy, fluffy" … "Lovely"

Full marks from some of our panellists, but featuring mid-way through the tasting marathon might have led to some weary scoring from others. Truly, it would be hard to find fault.

"Light and springy" … "Smells delicious and crumpety" … "Crisp but moist" ... "Fresh and appealing" … "I would definitely have them again"

With a new Taste The Difference recipe, Sainsbury's have produced an outstanding effort, well-deserving of our highest accolade.

"Lovely malty aroma" ... "Very tasty" ... "Crisp but moist" ... "Not quite as springy as some of our favourites" ... "Bit low on salt"

** 2018 NEW ENTRY ** The Grocer's award-winner hits the right notes for us too. Nice work, Iceland!

"Nice rich smell" ... "Light and springy" ... "Crisp up beautifully" ... "More salt please!"

** 2018 NEW ENTRY ** Unavailable for our last tasting, these crumpets are a huge improvement on the Essentials offering. Definite contenders!

"Quite solid but nice and thick" … "Crispy and spongey" … "Much nicer than they looked" … "Really not bad actually" … "Very tasty"

Initially put off by the overly processed look, our tasting panel was won over by great taste of these crumpets, and we're now intrigued to try Lakeland's other variants.

"Light, soft and crispy" … "Nice and thick" … "Pleasant smell" … "No aftertaste" … "Good texture but a little bland"

Marks & Spencer challenged for the top spot last year, but significant steps forward from the competition have seen them slip into the chasing pack this time.

"Bit stodgy and chewy" … "Not as fresh as some others" … "Very malty but pleasant" … "Surprising - tasted better than they looked"

Surprisingly strong performance from a "savers" range. Someone at Sainsbury's deserves a bonus.

"Solid more than spongey" … "Nice and flavoursome" … "Crisped up well" … "Bit of an aftertaste" … "But generally very tasty"

A decent effort from Asda, although all the own-brand crumpets in our local store were too close to their sell-by date to really do themselves justice.

 

Results in Full

Crumpetman rating: 7.0

A decent effort from Asda, although all the own-brand crumpets in our local store were too close to their sell-by date to really do themselves justice.

"Solid more than spongey" … "Nice and flavoursome" … "Crisped up well" … "Bit of an aftertaste" … "But generally very tasty"

Crumpetman rating: 3.5

We hate to knock innovation, but these really are pretty rank.

"Cracks when flexed" … "Smells stale" … "Gritty, choking texture" … "Unpleasant aftertaste" … "Wouldn't have them again"

Crumpetman rating: 6.0

Not a bad effort from our ethical friends, who frankly might have scored a little better on another day: Good-ish with crumpets.

"Spongey but cracks and crumbles easily" … "Crisps up nicely" … "Quite a doughy flavour" … "Overall quite enjoyable"

Crumpetman rating: 1.0

Difficult to know what to say: they were revolting.

"Smells of chemicals" … "Dissolves in the mouth; no texture or flavour" …"Horrible texture, smell and taste" … "Definitely not eating again"

Crumpetman rating: 8.0

** 2018 NEW ENTRY **
The Grocer's award-winner hits the right notes for us too. Nice work, Iceland!

"Lovely malty aroma" ... "Very tasty" ... "Crisp but moist" ... "Not quite as springy as some of our favourites" ... "Bit low on salt"

Crumpetman rating: 6.0

Kingsmill didn't really convince our judges - every one of them had it in the middling category. Time for some fresh thinking?

"Good colour and depth" … "good holes" … "too dry" … "slightly bitter aftertaste" … "looked better than they tasted"

Crumpetman rating: 7.5

Initially put off by the overly processed look, our tasting panel was won over by great taste of these crumpets, and we're now intrigued to try Lakeland's other variants.

"Quite solid but nice and thick" … "Crispy and spongey" … "Much nicer than they looked" … "Really not bad actually" … "Very tasty"

Crumpetman rating: 6.5

Somewhat flattered by an inexplicably high score from one of our panellists, we weren't wowed by Lidl's effort. Must try harder if they want to win one of their famed taste tests.

"Quite shallow" … "Too many fused holes" … "Bit stodgy" … but … "Nice and fresh" … "Rich and flavoursome"

Crumpetman rating: 7.5

Marks & Spencer challenged for the top spot last year, but significant steps forward from the competition have seen them slip into the chasing pack this time.

"Light, soft and crispy" … "Nice and thick" … "Pleasant smell" … "No aftertaste" … "Good texture but a little bland"

Crumpetman rating: 5.0

A disappointing effort from Morrisons. Time for something fresh.

"Too shallow" … "Smells burnt even before cooking" … "Slightly bitter aftertaste" … "OK"

Crumpetman rating: 1.0

Difficult to know what to say: they were revolting.

"Unappealing cake-like consistency - dissolves in the mouth" … "Chemical smell" … "Thoroughly unpleasant"

Crumpetman rating: 7.0

Surprisingly strong performance from a "savers" range. Someone at Sainsbury's deserves a bonus.

"Bit stodgy and chewy" … "Not as fresh as some others" … "Very malty but pleasant" … "Surprising - tasted better than they looked"

Crumpetman rating: 8.5

With a new Taste the Difference recipe, Sainsbury's have produced an outstanding effort, well-deserving of our highest accolade.

"Light and springy" ... "Smells delicious and crumpety" ... "Crisp but moist" ... "Fresh and appealing" ... "I would definitely have them again"

Crumpetman rating: 6.0

These crumpets looked very processed and didn't make up for this in taste. Needless to say, we didn't cook them in a toaster.

"Nice and deep" … "lots of holes, smaller than most" … "too dense and heavy" … "Slightly unpleasant aftertaste"

Crumpetman rating: 9.5

Tesco's new recipe has propelled them from nowhere in last year's taste tests to dizzying heights. Well done Tesco!

"Nice and springy" … "Pleasant smell, good flavour" … "Fresh and doughy" … "Rich and tasty" … "I would definitely have them again"

Crumpetman rating: 4.0

Waitrose appear to have abandoned their Buttermilk Crumpets, leaving only these decidedly second-rate Waitrose Essentials. Come on Waitrose: Everyone deserves quality food!

"Lacking springiness" … "Too few holes" … "Hard to make crispy" … "They don't smell or taste of much" … "Lacking salt" … "Bitter aftertaste"

Crumpetman rating: 8.0

** 2018 NEW ENTRY **
Unavailable for our last tasting, these crumpets are a huge improvement on the Essentials offering. Definite contenders!

"Nice rich smell" ... "Light and springy" ... "Crisp up beautifully" ... "More salt please!"

Crumpetman rating: 9.0

Full marks from some of our panellists, but featuring mid-way through the tasting marathon might have led to some weary scoring from others. Truly, it would be hard to find fault.

"Springy, spongey" … "Very fresh" … "Excellent texture and taste" … "Crispy, fluffy" … "Lovely"

Testing panel / basis for scoring (2017 entries)

In a display of great magnanimity and humility, Crumpetman allowed little helpers to join him on the tasting panel. It was terribly tempting to doctor the helpers' scores when they strayed from the path, but the results were directionally completely sound, so no tampering was required.

The panel comprised three males and two females, with a combined age of 164.

The assessment took place on 25 August 2017.

We sniffed, squidged, studied, smelt again, tasted … and finally scored.

Some notes on exclusions

We planned to include Waitrose Buttermilk Crumpets and Hovis Crumpets in our review, but found them impossible to track down round our way. Based on last year's taste tests, they wouldn't have been challenging for a gold. Additionally, we have been unable to find local stockists of Lakeland's broader range, including their buttermilk crumpets. But we think they are probably fine people so will endeavour to rectify this.

We didn't include pikelets, but might do them at a later date. Ditto crumpet loaves.

We (correctly) anticipated that gluten free crumpets would leave a lot to be desired, and focused our taste tests only on the cross-supermarket brands. If you find yourself medically unable to manage gluten, we'd suggest that you focus on alternative snacks.