Any Australian is familiar with the yellow and red packet below and the slogan “”Life’s pretty straight without… Twisties“:

Like all kids in Oz, I grew up eating Twisties – mainly the cheese-flavoured ones, on the left. The chicken-flavour, on the right, never did it for me. I’m pretty sure Twisties are available in New Zealand. I haven’t looked for them but I think I spotted someone in the streets of Rangiora munching on Twisties.

So I was in the supermarket here in Rome the other day, puzzling over the Italian printed on packets of biscuits, when I glanced to my left and saw:

Look familiar? But with the name Fonzies. Of course, that name conjures up images for me of The Fonze, from endless re-runs of the American TV sit-com, Happy Days. So I initially wondered had some smart Italian businessman been to Oz and decided he could rip off the idea? But no, seems Twisties are known by different names in different countries. Here in Italy, they are called Fonzies (why I have no idea) and have a different colour from Australian Twisties. Oz ones are sort of a bright orangey-yellow colour, whereas Fonzies are pale yellow. I found that a bit off-putting at first and, unfortunately, they lack the wonderful cheese flavour of Oz Twisties.

Fonzies: Italian Twisties are a pale gold colour and thinner looking than Oz Twisties.

But I’ve now discovered there is an “intense cheese” version of Fonzies, so I plan to ferret them out and try them – in the interests of comparing to Aussie Twisties you understand.

UPDATE: I can report that the intense cheese version is MUCH better than the pale yellow, flavourless Fonzies. But not as good as Aussie Twisties. I can’t put my finger on it. Maybe they’re not quite cheesy enough or big enough or maybe it’s because I’m an Aussie. Whatever it is, Aussie twisties IMHO are better.