Story: Australia and New Zealand

Anzac biscuits and pavlova

Anzac biscuits and pavlova

Anzac biscuits (top) and pavlova (bottom) are important to the national identities of Australia and New Zealand, both of which claim to have invented them. Anzac biscuits were originally known as 'soldiers' biscuits' because they were sent by Australian and New Zealand women to their troops serving in the First World War. Usually including rolled oats, sugar, flour and desiccated coconut, the biscuits were easy to make, were hard and transportable, kept well and did not use eggs, which were in short supply during the war. It appears that the first use of the term Anzac biscuit was in a recipe book in 1921. Pavlova, a meringue-like dessert, was named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. It is believed to have first been made by a Wellington chef during the dancer's visit in 1926. However, Australians also claim to have invented the dish. In this case the artist has asserted the New Zealand claim by topping the pavlova with kiwifruit.

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How to cite this page:

Philippa Mein Smith, 'Australia and New Zealand - Common culture', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/artwork/33143/anzac-biscuits-and-pavlova (accessed 26 January 2020)

Story by Philippa Mein Smith, published 20 Jun 2012