|Place of origin||Australia, New Zealand|
|Main ingredient(s)||Rolled oats, flour, desiccated coconut, sugar, butter, golden syrup|
An Anzac biscuit is a sweet biscuit popular in Australia and New Zealand made using rolled oats, flour, desiccated coconut, sugar, butter, golden syrup, baking soda and boiling water. Anzac biscuits have long been associated with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) established in World War I.
It has been claimed the biscuits were sent by wives to soldiers abroad because the ingredients do not spoil easily and the biscuits kept well during naval transportation. Today, Anzac biscuits are manufactured commercially for retail sale.
Biscuits issued to soldiers by the Army, referred to as "Anzac tiles" or "Anzac wafers", differ 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.
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). This was 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, 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 "Anzac Biscuits" and Australian cookery books followed suit. Professor Leach also said that further research might reveal earlier references to the name and recipe in Australia or New Zealand.
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). A British (though still Australian-produced) version of the Anzac biscuit, supporting the Royal British Legion, is available in several major supermarket chains in the UK.
The term Anzac is protected under Australian law and cannot be used in Australia without permission from the Minister for Veterans' Affairs; misuse can be legally enforced particularly for commercial purposes. Likewise similar restrictions on naming are enshrined in New Zealand law where the Governor General can elect to enforce naming legislation. 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.
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 Veterans' 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.
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Notably, Anzac biscuit recipes omit eggs because of the scarcity of eggs during the war (after most poultry farmers joining the war effort) and so that the biscuits would not spoil when shipped long distances.
- "ANZAC Biscuits". anzacday.org.au website. Retrieved 2011-08-17.
- "ANZAC biscuit recipes". Australian War Memorial website. Retrieved 2011-08-17.
- "The Anzac Biscuit Myth". eCook website. Retrieved 2008-07-23.[dead link]
- "Anzac Tea Dance to raise funds for The Royal British Legion". British Legion website. 27 January 2009. Archived from the original on 25 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-17.
- "Protection of word word ANZAC – List of Regulations". Australian Government: Attorney General's Department website. Archived from the original on 21 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-23.
- "Protecting the Word Anzac". Australian Department of Veterans' Affairs. Retrieved 2011-08-17.
- "Anzac Traditions and Rituals". New Zealand Government: Ministry for Culture and Heritage mini-site. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-17.
- "Flags, Emblems, and Names Protection Act 1981 No 47, section 17". New Zealand Government: Parliamentary Council Office Legislation website. Retrieved 2011-08-17.
- "Uses Allowed under the Regulations". Australian Department of Veterans' Affairs. Retrieved 2011-08-17.
- Fewster, Sean (22 September 2008). "Subway dumps Anzac biscuit from the menu". The Advertiser. Retrieved 2013-10-17.
- "ANZAC Biscuits The history & recipe". Digger History website. Archived from the original on 19 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-23.