They’re a sweet treat families enjoy at Christmas. But for Lynne – they’re her meal ticket...
Pulling open the oven door, a rush of hot air warmed my cheeks. Inhaling deeply, I breathed in that familiar scent of warm pastry and sweet, sugary mince. Bliss! With winter well and truly setting in, it was bitter outside.
So, how better to beat the chill than with a piping hot mince pie, washed down with a brew?
To most people, mince pies are something that goes hand in hand with Christmas. But not me. I’m absolutely mad about them. Always have been. And I tuck into them all year round.
For me, they aren’t just a scrumptious, snack – they’re my meal ticket.
See, I’m a professional mince pie taster.
I know it’s not exactly a job title you hear about every day. But I absolutely love what I do. For months now, I’ve been touring the country in search away around 1,200 calories a day in pies alone. Luckily, I’ve managed to stay a svelte size 10. ‘How on earth do you do it?’ pals marvel. But there’s no special secret to my trim figure. Just good old-fashioned exercise keeps me in shape. A keen runner, I’ve got five marathons under my belt. And I’m even training for a triathlon! Well, I’ve got to work of all those pies… In my world, a typical working week sees me tour the country trying different pies, getting a sense for what works – and what doesn’t. I then report my findings to Asda, my employers. Over time, I’ve even cooked up a formula for the perfect pie. Firstly, when it comes to pastry, it has to be crisp yet crumbly. And as for the filling? Three parts fruit to one part sugar and brandy equals one tasty treat. Turns out snacking can be very scientific! And despite the fact I eat them every single day, I’ll still be tucking in come 25 December. After all… What’s Christmas Day without a mince pie!