Christmas food and drink 2015: markets, events and top tips
A round-up of food and drink activities and ideas over the final few weeks of Scotland's Year of Food & Drink
It's hard to imagine now, but before the turn of the 21st century, the idea of buying food outdoors, queuing up at market stalls and actually speaking to the folk who reared, grew, made or cooked your food was an all-but-forgotten practice in Scotland.
Thanks to the re-birth (in Perth) of the farmers' market initiative, the inspiration of European-style markets in our city centres, and the growing awareness of the range, quality and wealth of the food and drink on our own doorstep – encouraged by initiatives such as 2015's Year of Food & Drink – getting up close and intimate with Scottish food is something we're increasingly comfortable doing.
The run-up to Christmas and the prospect of preparing feasts, bearing gifts and feeding loved ones has many of us on the lookout for good food with a local story. We've gathered together lots of information to help you source ingredients, browse for choice gifts, find hearty sustenance or embark upon food adventures with friends and visiting guests.
Scan our list of food and drink events and activities around Scotland between now and the start of the new year. Use the search functions and tags to help you focus your search on your local area or particular area of interest.
Check up on the times for farmers markets closest to you.
Get advice and tips from a range of local chefs and restaurateurs on Christmas meals, leftovers, food present ideas and handy gadgets.
Join the Twitter discussions about local specialities using #ScottishChristmas.
Catch our round-up of some of the best new food and drink products emerging in Scotland during 2015.
Make use of some of the online resources that can help you taste the season with Scotland's natural larder.