Found in: Israeli cuisine
Bamba is a snack manufactured by the Osem corporation in Holon, Israel
Bamba is one of the leading snack foods produced and sold in Israel. It has been marketed since 1963 with no decline in sales. Bamba makes up 25% of the Israeli snack market. The competition has come out with similar products - "Parpar" (Telma) and "Shush" (Strauss-Elite).
Bamba is made from peanut butter-flavored puffed corn. Bamba contains no cholesterol, preservatives or food coloring, and is enriched with several vitamins. Nevertheless it contains high amounts of fat. It has 537 calories per 100 grams. Bamba is certified Kosher by Badatz Jerusalem. Some describe it as "Cheez Doodles without the cheese."
Corn grits are "popped" under high pressure, turning them into long lines of white, puffed, unflavored Bamba. The lines are cut into nuggets and then moved to a drying chamber where they are air-baked for 20 seconds, which gives them a crispy texture. The peanut butter, imported from Argentina, is added at the end. A worker stands on a step above the rotating drums and pours a pitcher of liquid peanut butter into each of the containers. As the drums turn, the nuggets are coated. The hot Bamba is then moved along a conveyor belt to cool before packaging.
Osem also produces strawberry-flavored Bamba that is round in shape instead of oblong and red instead of the trademark color, which caused it to be dubbed by Israelis as 'Red Bamba' . The artificial food coloring that was once used has been replaced with beetroot.
In 2008, Osem came out with a new Bamba flavor - nougat-filled. It has the same traditional peanut butter outside, but a creamy nougat filling.
Some health experts say that Bamba should not be promoted as a "healthy" children's snack. They say this claim is deceptive, and the added vitamins in Bamba could result in over-consumption of nutrients