No childhood is complete without weirdly shaped dinners. Whether it’s poultry moulded into a stegosaurus or potatoes fashioned into slightly sinister smiley faces, food for a five-year-old becomes significantly easier to eat when it doesn’t look like food. Perhaps the ultimate embodiment of this was the iconic Turkey Twizzler.
Built like a fleshy Guggenheim, the brown spirals of the Turkey Twizzler both disgusted and delighted diners from the moment they hit supermarket shelves. Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver famously led a campaign against the 34% meat dish, much to the annoyance of the nation’s schoolchildren, leading to a boycott back in 2005. At that point, it looked like the Twizzler was dead and buried.
However, in a surprising turn of events, Norfolk-based Twizzler manufacturer Bernard Matthews has this weekend revealed that the pig-tail-like turkey treats are set for a stunning comeback. After a decade in the wilderness, Turkey Twizzlers are returning to British stores this week in two new flavours. It’s a real-life Cinderella story, if Cinderella was only one-third human, two-thirds miscellaneous.
In a bid to repair the dish’s image, Bernard Matthews revealed that they have been tirelessly working to make Turkey Twizzlers more healthy than ever. According to a spokesperson, the dish’s meat content has now doubled to 70% turkey - a marked improvement on where things were at the start of the noughties.
Try our recipe for Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Turkey Breasts:
As David Leigh, marketing director for Bernard Matthews, explained in a statement:
"If you look at our product now and let's say you compared, say, two pork sausages to two Twizzlers, there's 83% more saturated fat in two average pork sausages compared to two Twizzlers.
"So we have spent a lot of time making sure that we are delivering a healthy, a significantly healthier, product than it was before. It is very much a different product."
The new-look Twizzlers will come in two new flavours, featuring “Original Tangy Tomato” and “Delicious Chilli Cheese”. Set to drop on Thursday at supermarkets across the country, it remains to be seen whether they will continue to be a source of controversy.