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Each year we make ANZAC biscuits to connect us with our past, and to honour our soldiers - many of whom made the ultimate sacrifice. The original ‘Soldiers’ Biscuit’ were a popular inclusion in Australian comfort food parcels sent to soldiers during WW1, and quite different to the ANZAC biscuits of today.

There were several recipe versions, but all were based on ingredients that were easily available during wartime, and did not readily spoil. Simple ingredients such as rolled oats and golden syrup or treacle, flour, butter and sugar were commonly used. The biscuits were baked and packed into tea tins to ship off on months-long sea voyages, and tolerated the long journey without going stale.

In 2020, the Lobethal Bakery was inspired by a book on ANZAC biscuits by Local Culinary Historian and author, Allison Reynolds. Together with the SA Branch of the War Widows Guild, they re-created the Original Recipe Soldiers’ (Oat) Biscuit. The project, also supported by the ACH Group, was intended to honour the spirit of the ANZAC’s, and to fundraise for the War Widows Guild (now called the Australian War Widows (SA) Inc) to help support their important services.

Allison Reynolds described the biscuit as “very, very similar” to what would have been made originally. She praised the bakery for using “real” ingredients. “They’re quite thick … and not nearly as sweet as the ones made today,” she said.

We love being able to provide shoppers with a faithful recreation of this historical patriotic biscuit, and support a worthy cause at the same time.

Simon Horwood

Four years later, we are still producing the ‘special edition’ biscuit and contributing a portion of the sales to the Australian War Widows, SA Branch. Simon Horwood, National Sales Manager at Cultivate said; “This will be the fifth year we’ve been on the shelves with the Original Recipe Soldiers’ Oat Biscuits in the lead up to ANZAC Day, and we love being able to provide shoppers with a faithful recreation of this historical patriotic biscuit, and support a worthy cause at the same time.”

Jan Milham, President of the SA Branch of the War Widows Guild welcomes the ongoing support of the project. “I’ve been widowed for 33 years, and I can say that without Australian War Widows and the support that I was given in the early days, things would be very different for me,” she says.

If you are a lover of history, a generous supporter of great causes, or would just like to sample an Original Recipe Soldiers’ Oat Biscuit, we encourage you to try them out! The women of the SA Branch of Australian War Widows helped to design the beautiful presentation boxes for the special edition biscuits, so they will be easy to spot on the shelves.

A 50c donation from the sale of each pack goes to the SA Branch of Australian War Widows to help support their services.