ANZAC biscuit

ANZAC Biscuits are a sweet biscuit made using rolled oats, flour, coconut, sugar, butter, golden syrup, bicarbonate of soda and boiling water. ANZAC biscuits have long been associated with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) established in World War I. The biscuit appears to be a variation of Scottish oat cakes, possibly via the Scottish-influenced city of Dunedin, New Zealand. The ingredients do not spoil easily so the biscuits kept well during naval transportation to loved ones who were fighting abroad [cite web | title = ANZAC biscuits | work = website | url = | accessdate = 2008-08-29 ]

Biscuits issued to soldiers by the Army referred to as ANZAC tiles or ANZAC wafers differed from the popular ANZAC biscuit. ANZAC tiles and wafers were hard tack, a bread substitute, which had a long shelf life and was very hard. [cite web | title = ANZAC biscuits the origin and recipe (Australian War Memorial) | work = Australian War Memorial website | url = | accessdate = 2008-07-23 ]

Today, ANZAC Biscuits are manufactured commercially for retail sale because of their military connection with the ANZACs and Anzac Day. These biscuits are often used as a fundraising item for the Royal New Zealand Returned Services' Association (RSA) and the Returned and Services League of Australia (RSL) veterans' organisations.

ANZAC Biscuits made using today's recipe are also carried by hikers (bush-bashers/bushwalkers) as a food of last resort; due to their tough constitution and good keeping properties enabling these biscuits to survive many days of rough travel.Fact|date=September 2008

A British version of the ANZAC biscuit, supporting the Royal British Legion, is available in several major supermarket chains. [cite web | title = Tesco boosts Poppy Pound with Aussie Biscuits | date = 26 January 2007 | work = British Legion website | url = | accessdate = 2008-07-23 ]


* [ ABCTeach recipe]
* [ Rain Forest Web Designs recipe]
* [ ANZAC biscuits are as Australian as a bunyip!]
* [ ANZAC Biscuit Recipe]
* [ ANZAC Biscuit Recipe (thin & crisp) from Australian-American Immigrants]


Many myths surround the origin of the ANZAC Biscuits. One story is that the biscuits were made by Australian and New Zealand women for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) soldiers during World War I, that they were reputedly first called "Soldiers' Biscuits" then renamed "ANZAC Biscuits" after the Gallipoli landing. Fact|date=June 2008

The recipe was reportedly created because any food sent to the soldiers was carried via the Merchant Navy to the soldiers, the transportation of said food would take upwards of two months. The basis of the recipe was rolled oats, then utilising other ingredients that did not spoil easily. One notable omission from any ANZAC biscuit recipe is that of eggs. This was due mostly to the scarcity of eggs (the poultry farmers having joined the war effort). [cite web | title = ANZAC Biscuits The history & recipe | work = Digger History website | url = | accessdate = 2008-07-23 ]

In a speech to the East Otago Federation of Women’s Institutes, Professor Helen Leach, of the Archaeology Department of the University of Otago in New Zealand, stated that the first published use of the name Anzac in a recipe was in an advertisement in the 7th edition of "St Andrew's Cookery Book" (Dunedin, 1915) - but it was for a cake, not a biscuit, and there were no mixing instructions. A recipe for "Anzac Biscuits" appeared in the "War Chest Cookery Book" (Sydney, 1917) but was for a different biscuit altogether; the same publication included a prototype of today's Anzac biscuit, but called Rolled Oats Biscuits. The combination of the name Anzac and the recipe now associated with it first appeared in the 9th edition of "St Andrew's Cookery Book" (Dunedin, 1921) under the name "Anzac Crispies"; subsequent editions renamed this to "Anzac Biscuits" and Australian cookery books followed suit. Professor Leach later qualified her remarks by saying that further research might reveal earlier references to the name and recipe in either Australia or New Zealand. [cite web | title = The Anzac Biscuit Myth | work = eCook website | url = | accessdate = 2008-07-23 ]

Exactly the same recipe was included in contemporary recipe books as "rolled oats biscuits", (and none of these recipes included coconut - not until 1927Fact|date=July 2008). The oatmeal or rolled oats biscuits were developed in the Scottish-influenced city of Dunedin as a variation of Scottish oat cakes.Fact|date=July 2008

Legal issues

The term ANZAC is protected under Australian law [cite web | title = Protection of word word ANZAC - List of Regulations | work = Australian Government: Attorney General's Department website | url = | accessdate = 2008-07-23 ] and therefore the word should not be used without permission from the Minister for Veterans' Affairs [cite web | title = Protecting the Word Anzac | work = Australian Department of Veterans' Affairs website | url = | accessdate = 2008-07-23 ] ; misuse can be legally enforced particularly for commercial purposes. There is a general exemption granted for ANZAC Biscuits, as long as these biscuits remain basically true to the original recipe and are both referred to and sold as ANZAC Biscuits and never as cookies. [cite web | title = Uses Allowed under the Regulations | work = Australian Department of Veterans' Affairs website | url = | accessdate = 2008-07-23 ]

This restriction resulted in the Subway chain of restaurants dropping the biscuit from their menu in September, 2008. After being ordered by the Department of Veteran's Affairs to bake the biscuits according to the original recipe, Subway decided not to continue to offer the biscuit, as they found that their supplier was unable to develop a cost-effective means of duplicating the recipe.cite news | last = Fewster | first = Sean | date = 22 September 2008 | title = Subway drops ANZAC biscuirt from menu | work = The Advertiser | url =,22606,24379915-2682,00.html | accessdate = 2008-09-23 ]


External links

* [ ANZAC - History]
* [ Aussie - Alternate History]
* [ Australian History, ANZAC Biscuits (includes further references and readings)]
* [ Australian War Memorial blog, ANZAC Biscuits]

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Anzac — /ˈænzæk / (say anzak) noun 1. a member of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps during World War I. 2. a soldier from Australia or New Zealand. 3. an Anzac biscuit. –adjective 4. of or relating to Anzacs, Anzac Day, or the events at Gallipoli …   Australian English dictionary

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