Britain is a nation divided over the suitability and etiquette of having mince pies – for breakfast.
A new study has unearthed the latest simmering "Marmite" debate tearing the UK apart – is it okay to have mince pies for breakfast?
Half are adamant it is perfectly acceptable to do so, while the other half is totally outraged at the notion.
On average, Brits get through 14 mince pies during Christmas – but one in 100 confessed to scoffing up to 50 over the period.
It also emerged that 57% consider the mince meat to be the best bit, while four in 10 are seduced by the buttery pastry.
The survey of 1,000 people, by British bakery and school Bread Ahead, revealed 43% like them as it reminds them of the festive period.
Acclaimed British baker Matthew Jones, founder of Bread Ahead, said: "We really are a nation of mince pie lovers – and no one does mince pies like the UK.
"I like to eat mine with a cup of tea, and I have the first one on my birthday every year – 13 November.
"The best ones you can have, are the ones you bake yourself, anyone can do it.
"We make two tonnes of our own mince meat over the festive season at our Borough Market bakery and sell up to 15,000, with donations going to Guy's Hospital."
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The study also found 46% of those polled believe eating a mince pie heralds the start of the festive season, ahead of seeing Christmas TV adverts (35%) and wrapping presents (38%).
And while more than a third think it's only acceptable to eat mince pies from December 1, a fifth state the festive snack is acceptable at any time of the year.
Brits have also overwhelmingly voted for their favourite way to eat the traditional treat – with three quarters opting for warm mince pies rather than cold ones.
When it comes to the perfect accompaniment a splash of cream is the top choice (24%), while custard (11%), brandy butter (8%), ice cream or cream 7%) complete the top five.
But other toppings which fans have admitted to adding to pies include gravy and gorgonzola.
Three in 10 say a mince pie is best paired with a cup of tea, an indulgent tenth opt for Bailey's, while others enjoy theirs with a whiskey or fizzy drinks.
Meanwhile, a naughty one in 20 said the best place to munch a mince pie is in bed, while others confessed to enjoying them under a blanket on the floor watching TV or in the garden, so you can leave the crumbs for the birds.
But while we are a nation of mince pie maniacs, just 13% make their own pies rather than buy them, although a quarter are planning to give homemade food as a Christmas present this year.
Bread Ahead launch their famous mince pie live workshops this year online from November 29.
The two-hour workshop will teach bakers how to make a classic sweet shortcrust pastry and rich mincemeat from scratch and a frangipane and mincemeat version.
Fans of their mince pies include Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.
How Brits like their mince pies:
- On its own: 35%
- Single/Double Cream: 24%
- Custard: 11%
- Brandy Butter: 8%
- Squirty cream: 7%
- Ice cream: 7%
- Brandy cream: 4%
- Other (including clotted cream and gravy with gorgonzola cheese): 3%
- Cointreau cream: 1%
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