Norfolk's second-greatest cultural export set for return with 3-metre monument in honour of the Turkey Twizzler

Now with 67-70 per cent real turkey!

You would hope that we've run the gamut of inappropriate British monuments in 2020, but this one really takes the formed-meat biscuit.

Blended bird purveyor Bernard Matthews has erected a three-metre statue of its most famous (and controversial) son, the iconic Turkey Twizzler, outside the firm's HQ at Great Witchingham Hall in Norfolk.

If you're wondering why you haven't seen the corkscrew horror – made with 34 per cent real turkey! – haunt supermarket shelves for 15 years, that'll be because the company yanked the grub following a tsunami of negative publicity spearheaded by British chef Jamie Oliver.

In the Channel 4 telly show Jamie's School Dinners, the celeb chef railed against the stuff being fed to the nation's children at lunchtime, and the maligned Twizzler – bulked up by water, pork fat, rusk, coating, and a host of "E numbers" – became emblematic of the types of food Oliver wanted stripped from canteen menus.

Though Bernard Matthews enjoyed a brief spate of panic-buying due to the coverage, the product was discontinued in 2005 in a bid to swerve any more criticism – which sort of worked until two of the firm's employees were sentenced to community service for animal cruelty in 2006. The firm decried their behaviour and said it wasn't reflective of wider practices in the business. Then there was the 2007 avian flu outbreak at one of the company's farms in Suffolk. And another one in 2013, though of the sort that cannot be transmitted to humans.

Remember bird flu? Swine flu? Foot and mouth? Happier times.

Anyway, Bernard Matthews having made threats across social media over the weekend about the #comebackofthecentury, the grotesque idol's arrival seemed to confirm the reason behind Oliver's fevered nightmares of late – the Turkey Twizzler will indeed be returning to the frozen aisle.

What's the catch? Nutritionist Dr Sarah Schenker told the Eastern Daily Press: "Bernard Matthews has listened to the public and completely transformed Turkey Twizzlers into a much-improved product.

"They now have a nutritional profile they can be confident in – high in good quality protein and lower in fat, saturates, salt and sugar."

How improved is much-improved? Now with 67-70 per cent real turkey! But the remaining 30-odd is still a bit of a grey area.

Barbara Crowther of the Children's Food Campaign was far less impressed, telling The Guardian: "The fact it's taken Bernard Matthews 15 years to reformulate the Turkey Twizzler shows what a truly terrible product it used to be."

Looking for all the world like an unfried curly fry or an unbaked koeksister, the latest edifice answers the question: "What had Ronaldo just eaten?" What does it look like to you? ®

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