Twiglets are a wheat-based snack with a "distinctive knobbly shape" similar to that of twigs. The taste of Twiglets derives from the yeast extract used in its coating, and has been compared to that of Marmite. They are marketed in the United Kingdom and packaged in 24 g, 45 g, 105 g and 150 g bags, and in 200 g tubs.
Twiglets were invented in 1929 by a French biscuit maker named J. Rondalin, a technical manager at Peek Freans' Bermondsey factory, who added brewer's yeast to a leftover batch of Vitawheat dough. They were first launched onto the consumer market in 1932 by Peek Freans. Today, Twiglets are manufactured in Aintree by United Biscuits subsidiary Jacob's.
During the Christmas season, Twiglets were traditionally sold in drum-shaped tin boxes as a high class cocktail accompaniment from the 1930s until the 1970s. In modern times, the tin boxes have been substituted with large cardboard tubes decorated with seasonal themes.
In the early 1990s, a range of tangy Worcester Sauce Twiglets was introduced. Jacobs also released a curry flavoured edition from 1999–2001, in collaboration with several Indian restaurant chains in Northern England. From 2010 until 2012, Tangy Twiglets were briefly re-released as a limited edition to commemorate Twiglets' 80th anniversary.
Twiglets used to be manufactured partly from grain prepared using hammer milling machinery located at the Parker Brothers Lark Roller Mills in Mildenhall. The machinery was powered by water turbines fed by water from the river Lark and this process created the broken grains that give twiglets their crunchy irregular shape and texture. This water-powered mill operated until the last decade of the 20th century in this capacity.
To celebrate the 85th anniversary of Twiglets in August 2014, United Biscuits hosted an event known as Camp Twiglet on the Cotswolds farm of Blur's Alex James. This included three wigwams made from Twiglets which were attributed to a local artist named Mrs Cakehead.
In the media
- Twiglets are the favourite snack of footballer Ian Wright, former Prime Minister David Cameron, and chef Nigella Lawson.
- In the episode "Do-It-Yourself Mr. Bean", Mr. Bean runs out of Twiglets at his New Year's Eve party and substitutes real twigs coated with Marmite.
- Twiglets were a frequent gag reference in the original UK version of the TV game show Whose Line Is It Anyway?.
- An Internet meme was created from Justin Bieber eating a Twiglet on the Alan Carr talk show.
- In season 1, episode 3 of the UK TV series Spaced, Simon Pegg's character Tim states "I'm not supposed to eat Twiglets" because "they make me violent".
- In season 5, episode 14 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ("The Devil Complex"), Leo Fitz comments that he wants “proper British junk food”, stating “I want HobNobs...I want Maltesers, and I want Twiglets!”
- In series 3, episode 4 of Call the Midwife, Chummy (Miranda Hart) remarks that she tried her hand at making cheddar straws. “Every single attempt ended in complete disaster...so I popped to the corner shop and got a box of Twiglets!”
- "United Biscuits - Twiglets". Archived from the original on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 8 June 2011.
- Snack Food, Volume 80. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Publications. 1991.
Twiglets appeared to be flavored with Marmite yeast extract, that most incorrigibly British of household nutritional brands...
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- "Vending International | Saucy Twiglets are here to stay!". www.vendinginternational-online.com. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
- "Twiglets to celebrate 85th birthday with edible experience". www.totalswindon.com. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
- Aitch, Iain (2010). We're British, Innit: An Irreverent A-Z of All Things British. HarperCollins Publishers Limited. ISBN 9780007365500.
- "Bieber Eating A Twiglet (On A Talk Show)". YouTube. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
- "Spaced - Wikiquote". en.wikiquote.org. Retrieved 25 August 2017.