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The Anzac biscuit has a history of its own

Published: 15 April 2016

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No Anzac biscuits at Gallipoli?

The Anzac biscuit has a history all of its own.

According to Professor Helen Leach of the Archaeology Department at the University of Otago, the baked goods were not actually a biscuit but a cake.

First called “soldier’s biscuits”, they were renamed after word came back to New Zealand that the troops had landed at Gallipoli.

The oldest recorded recipe was published in the ninth edition of the St Andrew’s Cookery Book in 1921.

There have been many additions made to the biscuits over the years but the classic Anzac is eggless, as eggs were scarce during the war.

Designed to have a long shelf life for the voyage from New Zealand to where the soldiers were training or fighting in Egypt, Turkey and Europe, the biscuit was sometimes so hard that the men would grind them into their porridge to make them more edible.

Visit aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/anzacday for information on more than 70 Anzac Day parades and services being held across the region on Monday 25 April 2016.