This crispy and fragrant biscuit that is based on oats, coconut and syrup, is popular worldwide and has a remarkable story. One that is so significant and therefor, in my opinion, deserves to be elaborated.
Every year on April 25, Australia and New Zealand celebrate Anzac Day (ANZAC stands for Australian New Zealand Army Corps). During this celebration and commemoration day the fallen soldiers of World War I are honored.
On April 25, 1915, during World War I, the ‘Anzacs’ landed on the island of Gallipoli, Turkey, followed by eight months of bloody struggle. Both countries lost more than 10,000 men and 30,000 soldiers were seriously injured. On December 20, the Anzacs withdrew, having lost the battle over the island. Gallipoli is a black page in the history books. One year after landing, commemoration ceremonies were held in Australia, New Zealand and London (UK) whereby veterans of that same battle marched through the streets. From then on, April 25 is proclaimed Anzac Day.
Nowadays, not only the warriors of Gallipoli are commemorated, but all the men and women who have fought or are still fighting for freedom. Anzac starts early in the morning with a memorial service, just before dawn, at the same moment the soldiers landed at Gallipoli. Several hours later there’s a veterans parade in different places which usually ends at a war memorial. After the ceremony everyone goes to the cafes or veterans clubs. On Anzac Day, Aussies and Kiwis traditionally eat Anzac biscuits in memory of the soldiers’ women of World War I who sent the biscuits to their husbands in Europe. Why specifically this biscuit was sent to the troops? For the simple reason that it’s made of long-life products such as coconut, oats and sugar. It therefore could barely spoil and was able to survive the long journey from Australia to Europe. The soldiers who had to carry out their acts in appalling conditions, received therefor at least something to look forward to.
There are many variations of this biscuit, variations in which a variety of different ingredients are added. I’ve tried to stick to the original recipe as much as possible. First of all to experience what the soldiers of that time must have tasted exactly, but above all out of respect for those who gave their lives for the freedom of others.