When biting into a chewy Anzac biscuit have you ever considered where the tradition came from? Culinary historian, Allison Reynolds, spent 18 months searching through old recipe books trying to answer the question on everyone’s crumb-coated lips: who made the first Anzac biscuit?
She discovered that the first version of this rolled oats-based biscuit appeared around 1823. Over the next century, the Anzac biscuit took on many different names, such as ‘crispies’ and ‘surprise biscuits’. Then, around the early years of WWI, the name started to develop to ‘red cross biscuits’ and ‘soldier biscuits’.
The biscuits were sent by wives and women’s groups to soldiers abroad, specifically the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC). Due to accessible ingredients, the simple cooking method and lack of eggs, the biscuits didn’t easily spoil and kept well during naval transportation. It was here, they took the new title of ANZAC biscuits and have been loved by Australians ever since.