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What is Anzac Day and why do we make Anzac biscuits?

Every year on the 25th April, Australians and New Zealanders take a minute out of their day to remember the brave soldiers who were wounded or lost their lives trying to protect their beloved country.

by: Rentse Khiba | 25 Apr 2018
remembering anzac day with anzac biscuits

(Images: iStock)

More than 100 years have passed since the Anzac troops fought in Turkey during World War 1. You can imagine during the war there were a number of food shortages and soldiers weren’t able to enjoy their usual meals. With no refrigerators and very few fresh fruit or vegetables available, meals were not as pleasurable as they were back home.Many soldiers survived mostly on rations of bully beef and biscuits.

Forming part of their new diet was the Anzac biscuit which were served to soldiers instead of bread. These biscuits held a much longer shelf life than an actual loaf of bread and back then, transporting food meant that it would have to last longer than usual, as all food was sent to soldiers via ship.

The Anzac biscuit became popular due to the accessible ingredients and because it was so easy to make. A fun fact about the Anzac biscuit is that the recipe does not contain egg and consists of the most basic ingredients – oats, flour, sugar, butter, golden syrup, bicarbonate of soda, a little bit of water and coconut. Try our recipe!

Many poultry farmers became soldiers during the war and this led to a shortage of eggs, so golden syrup or treacle were used to bind the Anzac mixture together.

a bowl of freshly baked anzac biscuits

Sadly the biscuits lacked the nutritional value soldiers needed and were rumored to taste so bad that many soldiers ground them up and added water to them, turning them into porridge, or they would be used to thicken a stew or fried as fritters to make them more tasteful.

Concerned about the nutritional value the soldiers were receiving and also the lack of tasty food soldiers had access to, mothers, wives and girlfriends back home got a bit creative with the original recipe and added oats, which is high in nutrition to the Anzac recipe, whilst using the Scottish oats recipe as a base.

These chewy, buttery, delicious, iconic biscuits will be enjoyed by many today.

You too can partake in honouring the Anzac troops and whip up a fresh batch of Anzac biscuits using this recipe and enjoy them with a good cup of coffee or tea.


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