Is it wrong to use leftover takeaway - or mince pie - as a stottie filling? Our beloved bread features on BBC food programme Kitchen Cabinet

Half a stottie
Half a stottie

Filled with cold takeaway, mince pie or just good old ham and pease pudding - how do you eat yours?

The curious fillings we choose to put in our stotties became a hot topic on a BBC food programme at the weekend.

The North East's beloved bread product was the subject of a special feature and Q&A session on the BBC's Kitchen Cabinet, prompting some unusual suggestions - including a question from the audience on whether or not it was acceptable to use last night's takeaway as a stottie filling.

Other favourite fillings shared by the audience and panellists included the traditional ham and pease pudding, fried spam, chips to make the ultimate chip buttie, and even mince pie. Someone said stottie cakes made the best garlic bread.

Rob Sampson from South Shields suggested salt and vinegar crisps with half an inch of salted butter, while another audience member put forward grated carrot and sriracha spicy sauce as a good choice of filling.

The latter prompted amused host Jay Rayner to comment on the changing face of North East dining habits. He put the suggestion of a takeaway stottie to panellist Tim Anderson, a previous MasterChef champion.

"If putting leftover takeaway in a stottie is wrong, I don't want to be right," replied Tim, who now runs the Nabban restaurant in London.

He pointed out that in Japan, bread products were filled with all manner of ingredients - including donuts stuffed with curry, and sold noodles served in a hot dog bun.

"It's ultimate carb on carb," he said.

Top chef Rob Owen Brown, who was also on the panel of the Radio 4 cooking programme, backed an audience suggestion of using pie to fill a sandwich, and put forward his own delicacy of fried spam, eggs and brown sauce.

Renowned North East master baker Ian Thomson and food historian Dr Annie Gray gave a cultural and historical explanation of the stottie on the programme, which was broadcast on Saturday morning after being recorded in Newcastle.

Ian, known for his Geordie Bakers business as well as other culinary exploits, said was traditionally a mix of leftovers - including pastry, meat and fruit - which was cooked on the bottom of the oven by housewives at the end of the baking day.

Jay Rayner pointed out that one of the most frequently asked questions on the Greggs website was "why can't I get stotties outside the North East?", which demonstrated how important they were to people in the region.