|Bamba (Hebrew: בַּמְבָּה)|
|Place of origin||Israel|
|Main ingredient(s)||Peanut butter|
|Variations||Sweet Bamba, Nougat-filled Bamba, Halva-filled Bamba|
|Food energy (per serving)||544 per 100 grams kcal|
Bamba is one of the leading snack foods produced and sold in Israel. It has been marketed since 1964 with no decline in sales. Bamba makes up 25% of the Israeli snack market. Similar products from other manufacturers include "Parpar" (Telma) and "Shush" (Strauss-Elite).
Bamba is made from peanut butter-flavored puffed maize. Bamba contains no cholesterol, preservatives or food coloring, is enriched with several vitamins, and contains high amounts of fat and salt. The energy content is 544 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 (officially called 'Sweet Bamba' Hebrew: במבה מתוקה, and unofficially 'Red Bamba' Hebrew: במבה אדומה) that is round in shape instead of oblong, and red instead of the usual color. It was originally colored artificially, but the coloring was replaced by beetroot. In 2008 Osem introduced a new Bamba flavor, nougat-filled, produced at the Osem plant in Sderot. It is considered by the Nestle group, owner of the controlling interest in Osem, to be one of the great successes of Nestle in Israel. Osem introduced a halva-filled and a chocolate-filled Bamba in 2010, and a "Bamba-filled Bamba" (a peanut-butter paste filled Bamba) in 2013.
As Bamba is made with peanuts, people allergic to peanuts may be severely affected by it. However, a 2008 study concluded that, due to the extensive consumption of peanuts by infants in Israel, peanut allergy is rare. A control group of Jewish children in the UK had ten times higher rates of allergy; the difference is not accounted for by differences in atopy, social class, genetic background, or peanut allergenicity.
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.
- Granof, Leah (2007-01-11). "The Bisli Snack attack". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2007-01-13. "Despite the apparent popularity of Bisli, the bite-sized nosh comes in decidedly second to Israel's other national pastime, Bamba, in the hierarchy of snack foods – capturing just 15% of the snack market in comparison to Bamba's 25%."
- Squires, Sally. "Lean Plate Club". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-04-26.
- "Bamba: A little taste of Israel". Retrieved 2011-10-17.
- Tsoref, Ayala (2008-12-29). "Nestle honcho drops in the see Bamba baby, Haaretz". Haaretz.com. Retrieved 2011-10-17.
- Du Toit, G.; Katz, Y.; Sasieni, P.; Mesher, D.; Maleki, S. J.; Fisher, H. R.; Fox, A. T.; Turcanu, V.; Amir, T.; Zadik-Mnuhin, G.; Cohen, A.; Livne, I.; Lack, G. (2008). "Early consumption of peanuts in infancy is associated with a low prevalence of peanut allergy". Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 122 (5): 984–991. doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2008.08.039. PMID 19000582.
- Khromchenko, Traubmann (2007-04-06). "Peanut-flavored snacks - not as nutritious as they claim". Haaretz. Retrieved 2007-04-08.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bamba snack.|
- Snacks page on Osem's website (English)