Invert Syrup, Feminist Snap: Anzac Biscuits and Feminist Resistance to Imperial Logics

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    Baked for Anzac Day in April but eaten all year, Anzac biscuits memorialize the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) participation in the Gallipoli Campaign during World War I. The chemical and culinary capacities of one of the biscuit’s key ingredients, golden syrup, offer strategies for figuring snaps, breaks, and refusals. Golden syrup catalyzes a feminist digestion of a food often perceived as culturally conservative or nationalistic. Sara Ahmed describes “feminist snap” as a moment of fury that confronts and changes history. Snap can additionally refer to crispy batter-based desserts that often call for golden syrup. Classified as an “invert syrup,” golden syrup was formulated from sugar refining waste products that were fed to pigs before being adapted for human consumption. “Invert” refers to the assessment of syrups using a beam of light, which inverts its angle of rotation as fructose and glucose separate. Reading the chemistry of inverting sugar alongside the feminist-led “anti-Anzac” day movement of the 1980s, this paper proposes that edible everyday militarisms might be snapped, inverted, spun, and reshaped. Anzac biscuits bring domestic everyday militarisms into Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand kitchens.
    Original languageEnglish
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2023


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