Bakers and butchers across Britain are gearing up for this year’s World Scotch Pie Championships, taking place at Lauder College, Dunfermline, on 7 November.
Entry forms have been sent to the 135 members of The Scotch Pie Club, with a record entry expected.
Last year’s Scotch Pie Champion, Keith Stuart, has seen his overall sales rise by 10% since his debut win last November.
Stuart, bakery director at Stuart’s of Buckhaven, which has 19 shops in Fife, said: "We were absolutely delighted to win the event for the last year and our overall sales have seen an increase of 10% in the period since November 2007. Part of that rise has been due to the marketing of our unique Irn-Bru sausages, which took off with our regulars and also with the media from all over Britain."
The baker is likely to stick to the same recipe that won last time round. He added: "It’s been a brilliant year for the company, but I know competition will be fierce."
Previous winners that are also expected to enter include: Lewis Maclean of Macleans Highland Bakery, Forres; Paul Boyle of Boghall Butchers, Bathgate; Thomas Auld & Sons of Greenock; Robert Cowan of the Bon Bon Cake Shop, Airdrie; and Alan Devlin of Sugar and Spice, Auchterarder.
A Scotch pie consists of a thin pastry shell filled originally with minced mutton mixed with rusks, seasoning and water. It is topped with a thin pastry lid.
Organiser Alan Stuart added: "The Scotch pie is one of Scotland’s best-loved food icons."