We're very proud to have been named Australia’s Best Store-Bought Anzac Biscuit by The Guardian Australia!
To find the best Anzacs on Australian shelves, The Guardian gathered five judges, including a pastry chef, to sample a range of these classic Australian biscuits.
“There was a notable lift in mood when biscuit number six [the Irrewarra Anzac Biscuit] was presented,” the article stated.
The judges try Irrewarra’s Anzac Biscuit. Image: Carly Earl/The Guardian
Irrewarra Anzacs were described as “a beautiful biscuit”, and noted by the judges for their caramelisation, generous size, depth and complexity of flavour. They also noted that our Anzac biscuit was the only one on the line-up with real butter in the ingredient list – perhaps giving it a competitive advantage!
The line-up of Anzac biscuits - Irrewarra is no. 6. Image: Carly Earl/The Guardian
Irrewarra founder Bronwynne Calvert told Irrewarra’s local newspaper, the Colac Herald how wonderful it was to receive this recognition.
“When you use really good ingredients like we do, it makes an enormous difference,” Bronwynne said. “We use really good quality sugar, golden syrup and butter. A lot of the other [Anzacs] that are cheaper [to buy] taste inferior. It sends a message to the major supermarkets that at the end of the day, good food is in the taste.”
The Anzac biscuit gained its name when mothers, wives, girlfriends and women’s groups baked biscuits to send to Australian soldiers abroad during World War I. The recipe was based on the Scottish oat biscuit, but it soon became uniquely Australian with its signature golden syrup flavour.
Irrewarra Anzac Biscuits make the perfect companion to a good cuppa. Image: Jacinta Moore
Use of the acronym ANZAC is controlled by the Australian Department of Veterans' Affairs. Bakers must be approved by the Department to produce an ‘official’ Anzac biscuit, and Irrewarra is proud to hold this accreditation to produce an Australian classic. Bronwynne recently spoke to Jeremy Lee on ABC South West Victoria Breakfast about this accreditation and the story of Irrewarra’s own Anzac biscuits.
“The word Anzac is a very special word, and it’s controlled by the Department of Veterans' Affairs,” Bronwynne said. “So if you want to make an Anzac, and sell it commercially and brand it as an Anzac, you need to get permission or a permit from the Department – and you have to make sure your Anzac biscuit follows the correct recipe!”
However, there is some room for “tweaks” to the recipe Bronwynne said, depending on how you like your biscuits – soft and chewy or crispy and crunchy.
At Irrewarra, the recipe we use for our crunchy, caramelised Anzacs is actually based on Bronwynne’s grandmother’s original home recipe – with a few tweaks.
“My mother cooked .. Anzac biscuits when we were young, for my sisters and I, and when I had children – like most mothers – I thought what are some lovely things [I] can bake at home for them?” Bronwynne said. “So I asked her for her Anzac biscuit recipe … that was from her mother, my grandmother. I still have that recipe – with the butter measured in ounces, not grams! Then when we started our sourdough baking business we also had a café attached, and I started using [her recipe] … they were so popular in the café that I thought I’ll scale up the recipe – which was just a home-sized recipe – to a commercial quantity, and started baking it in our bread ovens!”
Irrewarra Anzac Biscuits fresh out the oven. Image: Jacinta Moore
For the packaging, Bronwynne wanted to do something very Australian, so she contacted Lynette Weir, an Australian artist that produces lino-cut art focussing on Australian wildflowers. She licences Irrewarra to use her Waratah, Flannel Flower and Black-bean flower prints on our packaging. It’s a wonderful combination – a very Australian biscuit and Australian wildflower art. We also use Australian macadamias and Australian made dark chocolate on our other two Anzac varieties.
You may notice that our Chocolate Anzac and Macadamia Anzac varieties are not referred to on the pack in that way. We call them Chocolate Oat Biscuits and Macadamia Oat Biscuits because they have an additional ingredient so we can’t use Anzac in their name! They are still an irresistible Irrewarra Anzac though!
Irrewarra Chocolate Oat Biscuits. Image: Jacinta Moore
Each year, Irrewarra honours the sacrifices of past and present servicemen and women by making a donation to our local Colac RSL on Anzac Day.
Our fantastic baking and packaging teams produced over 170,000 biscuits in the few weeks leading up to Anzac Day, and we thank them for their hard work and attention to detail during this busy period.
You can purchase our full range of biscuits online, or head to your local independent grocer or selected IGA, Foodworks, Coles Local and selected Woolworths stores in Vic, NSW and QLD to pick up a packet.