Epicure Cranberry Sauce
A deep, rosy red, and dense, this has lots of large seeds - rather unpleasant if you didn't expect a crunch in your sauce. It tastes like a cranberry puree, cooked with little more than sugar, until it sets. The flavours are intense but dull, and the texture is starchy. A little acidity would help, as would a dash of spice. It's also a bit too solid to spread or pour. This is best for those who have time to make their own improvements.
HK$29.90, ParknShop International, citywide
Kitchen Garden Organic Cranberry Sauce
Decidedly unlike a conserve, whole cranberries sit in a runny, reddish-purple liquid. There is an intense tartness and a bitterness, which leaves the tongue rough and dry. Though the liquid is easily absorbed or combined with food, the berries tend to roll around on the plate and need to be flattened or cut. This is challenging, because they are quite firm. Reducing it over heat and adding some sugar may help.
HK$52.40, Great, Pacific Place, Queensway, Admiralty
Ocean Spray Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
The easiest to buy, this little jar can be found in almost every decent-sized supermarket in town. Luckily, it's not a bad choice if you're looking for something simple and tart that is basically cranberry juice in jelly form. The acidity is refreshing if the rest of your dishes are on the rich side - though it may be a little too plain to go in your turkey sandwiches the day after. And without heating it up, the relatively solid, shiny jelly is hard to spread. HK$26.90, Wellcome, citywide
Cottage Delight Cranberry Sauce with Port
This is a chocolatey red sauce with whole cranberries. But to call it a sauce might be misleading; it is surprisingly thick and lumpy, like a bottle of compressed dried fruit. Despite the label, there was no distinct taste of port. The intense sweetness is nicely balanced by a sour aftertaste. If there was a way to keep the 'sauce' from rolling off your food, it would be a great addition to the dinner table.
HK$94.40, Great, Pacific Place, Queensway, Admiralty
Peter Watson Cranberry Sauce
This is a stew-like spice bomb, similar to the fruits inside mince pies. Heat it slightly to make it runnier, and consider adding a dash of water or port while doing so to loosen it up; otherwise, it has the consistency of cold ganache. With an extremely dark burgundy colour, this sauce also contains whole cranberries and tastes chiefly of ginger, cinnamon and cloves, which should go well with dark meats and the roasted flavour of crispy skin.
HK$47.30, Great, Pacific Place, Queensway, Admiralty