Mrs Mac’s are WA’s favourite pies but they harbour a dark past that many of us are blissfully unaware of – the company was started by a Victorian. Ken Macgregor started slinging pastries in Smelbourne in the 50s. Being slowly choked by the City’s smug fog of liveability he moved to WA and set up shop in our beloved Morley in 1968.
Whether we forgot or forgave the Macgregors for being Victorian remains unknown but thanks to the advances in pie-making technology Mrs Mac’s went from strength to strength. Unlike Four’n Twenty pies that have the consistency of something a bored chimpanzee would fling at a zookeeper who took away his favourite tyre swing.
WA was the perfect storm for a local pie company to become a multi-million dollar empire. It quickly became the favourite of tradies who needed an item they could eat on a milk crate or while simultaneously taking a shit in a portaloo. There weren’t enough Jiffy food vans in the world to keep up with the construction state’s appetite for the practical lunch item.
Furthermore, the pie became the crown jewel in the servo bain-marie. To understand the significance of this you need to understand the significance of petrol stations to WA. Firstly, our relentless vastness means we are always driving and secondly if you weren’t lucky enough to live near a Maccas you were shit out of luck for a late-night feed – thus the servo became the oasis for drunks to soak up some piss before bed.
It wasn’t long before multiple generations of West Aussies were obliterating their mouths with their first bite of molten gravy. You just couldn’t wait and you’d resemble a gibbon as you desperately tried to cool the pie down by rapidly blowing on it while it stripped your tongue of taste buds for a week. Good shit.
Everything was going well for Mrs Mac’s until the dirty, jealous Kiwis tried to take us down and launched the great slurry controversy of 2006. It turns out they tested Mrs Mac’s and found that 8 in 10 contained 27% meat rather than the 31% promised on the pack. Perhaps 31% makes you feel a bit sick but bear in mind the legal minimum is 25%.
Anyway, Australian testers came to a contrary conclusion and found that Mrs Mac’s did contain the 31% of abattoir scrapings that they promised. Now, the Kiwis are good at rugby but seeing as Auckland just got its first town fax machine in 2012 I think we can all disregard their clearly bullshit testing. We can only assume it was the work of a Kiwi scientist who burned his knob trying to bang a lamb pie. After all, a pie can’t run away from you. A pie can’t baa for help.
Mrs Mac’s survived that egregious attack but the future is uncertain. With the ever-increasing price of a packet of sauce, there will eventually come a point where we refuse to be victims of condiment extortion. Which begs the question, can the pie be eaten without its culinary helper? We’ll see.
Documenting the Human Zoo is thirsty work, so if you enjoyed what you read how about buying Belle a beer, ay?