One of the best Maltese packet, Twistees are delicious cheesy curls that have definitely entered the Maltese culinary hall of fame.
Tourists and locals alike start craving Twistees the second they’re away from Malta for enough time, and if you happen to be experiencing the same overseas cheesy frustration, here’s how to get your fix.
1. USA: Cheetos
Formerly called Chee-tos, Cheetos were introduced in 1948. In 2010, Cheetos was ranked as the top selling brand of cheese puffs in its primary market of the United States, with annual worldwide retail sales totalling around $4 billion.
They’re delicious, sure, but no amount of money can ever convince us to switch from our beloved Twistees.
2. Canada: Cheezies
Invented after the Second World War, Cheezies are made from aged cheddar and sold in various size bags.
Apparently, no two Cheezies pieces are exactly alike… much like how they’re not exactly Twistees and they never will be.
3. South Africa: NikNaks
Manufactured by the Simba Chips company since 1972, NikNaks originally only came in cheese flavour.
This brand has managed to make its way beyond the shores of South Africa, but it has some stiff competition if it wants to make it in Malta.
4. India: Kurkure
Named after the urdu word for ‘crunchy’, the snack was developed entirely in India and launched in 1999.
Even though Kurkure have been around for only half the time of Twistees, they have a very long list of flavours, ranging from spicy Masala Munch and Green Chutney to “Zig Zag” and “Naughty Tomatoes”. We’re fine with our own good old classic though.
5. Japan: Curl
Curl (or カール Kāru in Japanese) comes in several flavours, but the two dominant ones are lightly salted and cheese. They have been on sale in Japan continuously since 1968.
Curl look pretty delicious… even though they’re basically half-finished Twistees.
6. Iran: Chee.Toz
Even beyond the telltale sign of their name, Iran’s Chee.Toz have been compared to Cheetos, but apparently have fewer preservatives.
Much like Cheetos, they look amazing… ly second-best to Twistees.
7. UK: Wotsits
Sold by Walkers, this brand of snacks is huge. Limited edition versions of Wotsits have appeared on more than one occasion, although the most common form are cheese flavoured curly shapes. Until a decade or two ago, Walkers also sold Cheetos, which was considered a rival in the UK market.
Someone needs to break it to all these brands that they’ll still always be second best.
8. Australia: Twisties
Mainly sold in Australia but making it as far as Oceanian countries like Fiji and Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia and Thailand, Twisties have been around for more than 60 years.
If the name wasn’t obvious enough, these are the next best thing to Twistees, especially if you’re thousands of kilometres away from the homeland.