Friday, May 1, 2009

Australia - The Food Icons - ANZAC Biscuits

As much as I’d like to think that a whole nation stops to celebrate my birthday, the 25th of April has a much deeper significance to the Australian people. It is the day when the country commemorates the ANZACs (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps) who fought at Gallipoli in Turkey in World War I. This day of remembrance (ANZAC Day) then evolved to include all those who've been involved in other wars and military operations Australia has engaged in since the Great War.

ANZAC biscuits (originally called ‘soldiers biscuits’) were supposed to have been sent to the troops by their loved ones as they kept well during the long and arduous naval journey. From that description alone you can probably infer how much a “tough cookie” the ANZAC biscuit is. It maintains its “crunch” in spite of. (By the way, you should never refer to it as a “cookie” as the term is American and not Australian. I didn’t know this till recently. Some are actually offended by this.)

ANZAC biscuit is quite “hard” as you can imagine. It had to withstand elements other biscuits are not normally exposed to. It’s mainly made of rolled oats, desiccated coconut and golden syrup.

I couldn’t say it’s one of my favourites. The biscuit is fine on its own but experts recommend you dunk it in a hot beverage to fully appreciate it. If you’ve read my past blogs you’ll know that I have an aversion to soggy bread/biscuit. So, no thanks.

I bought a packet of these biscuits solely to write about it. But don’t worry; they did not go to waste. My two school age kids have developed a taste for them and finished them with gusto!

Unlike Hot Cross Buns, ANZAC biscuits have no restrictions and are available all year round.

Below is a recipe from Australia’s multicultural TV station, SBS:

ANZAC Biscuits

1 cup of rolled oats1 cup of sugar
1 cup dessicated coconut1 cup flour
1 tablespoon golden syrup
1 cup of butter
2 tablespoons boiling water
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
Mix oats, flour, sugar, and coconut together. Melt syrup and butter together. Mix soda bicarbonate with boiling water and add to melted butter and syrup. Add to dry ingredients. Place 1 tablespoon of mixture on greased tray. Bake in a slow oven for 20 minutes.


Joelen said...

What a great post! Someday I'll have to visit Australia... and I'm with you on the soggy biscuits.. blah!

Tangled Noodle said...

Hmmmmm . . . I'm not a big fan of tough coo - er - biscuits but it may still be worth a try. As for dunking, that would be fine with me - I like my biscotti a little softened, too, so I imagine this is similar. But it's got to be with coffee, not milk as a lot of people enjoy doing with their coo - er - biscuits!

The Beancounter said...

Thanks J! Yup, you have to visit us's a long way to go but it's worth it...i think! hehehehe...

The Beancounter said...

Hello TN.... hehehehe... coo-er-biscuits! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!