Bamba is apparently the most popular snack in Israel, and I was lucky enough to get my hands on a bag recently. It is billed as a “peanut snack,” which had me expecting some sort of nut inside the package. (The toddler playing soccer on the outside of the package provided little clue.)
Bamba is actually more of a peanut corn puff. They are similar in size and texture to a fat Cheeto, but perhaps a little shorter and without any coating of flavor dust. I was unimpressed with a seemingly bland first bite, but then the flavor hit. Basically, a peanut butter aftertaste that was pleasant, subtle, and quite tasty.
Not to get all anti-big chip manufacturers, but the Frito-Lays equivalent would likely be covered in peanut spices, greasy to the touch, and the mascot baby would be kicking a monster truck hauling Taco Bell instead of a soccer ball. There is a certain grace and tasty simplicity with Bambas that just isn’t found in American chips anymore… and I love American chips, but these taste great without being extreme. In fact, there are only four ingredients: peanuts, palm oil, corn, and salt (which I honestly couldn’t taste).
I’m a big fan of Bambas, and it goes beyond the skilled soccer baby. They’re darn tasty, simple, and a little bit mysterious. Check em out if you ever get the chance. Mazel Tov!