Food judges taste-tested a record number of pastry products today as they hunted for the next winners of the Scotch Pie Club Awards.
More than 100 butchers and bakers entered 500 pies, pasties, sausage rolls, bridies and savouries into the competition, now in its 14th year, which culminates with the naming of the maker of the best Scotch pie in the world.
The winners in all the categories have now been picked and they will be revealed on January 9 at the Carnegie Conference Centre in Dunfermline, Fife.
The 2013 awards feature a new category: the best pie on sale for supporters to buy at a Scottish football match. In recognition of the prize, Fife provost Jim Leishman, a former manager of Dunfermline Athletic, was invited to help with the judging.
He said: "As a football professional, I was delighted that the new category of best football pie in Scotland was added this year and I was flattered to be able to get involved. The standard of entries was incredible and the judges were hard-pressed to pick a winner. But I am well aware of the role the football pie plays in fan's enjoyment of a match, so to be able to help judge which pie is the best in the land is a huge honour."
The aim behind the championships is to provide butchers and bakers the chance to become recognised for producing high-quality savoury products.
The winner in the hotly-contested scotch pie category will be declared the world champion.
Competition founder Alan Stuart said: "Judging day for the 14th World Scotch Pie Championships was our busiest ever and the standard was higher than ever too.
"We have a huge number of hard-working butchers and bakers who deserve recognition for delivering great products day in and day out. I am confident that the judges have made the right decisions today and I look forward to announcing the winners early next year."
The competition is supported by Scottish Bakers and the Scottish Federation of Meat Traders and it is sponsored by wholesalers Bako Northern and Scotland.