Bamba is a peanut
-based snack which is manufactured (and is hugely popular
) in Israel
. The snacks are yellowish, supposedly like a real peanut, but strongly resemble styrofoam
packing peanuts. Bamba is produced by Osem
Food Industries Ltd. of Tel Aviv
The Bamba television commercials are infamous for being extremely cheesy and annoying. They feature an animated singing and dancing baby who may or may not be the spawn of Satan. Since Bamba is soft and melts in the mouth it can be safely fed to babies and small children. As a result Israelis wolf it down practically from birth. As a result of that most children in Israel can allegedly pronounce the word Bamba before they can say Ima (mommy) or Abba (daddy), which is also referred to ad nauseam in the infernal commercials.
Although it is mostly marketed to small children, Bamba is also popular with infants of all ages. 20-something Israeli travelers in South America, the Far East, etc, always demand that their parents send as much Bamba as humanly possible whenever they send them a package. It is also highly prevalent in the munchies area of human experience.
Another variation, also made by Osem, is Sweet Bamba, informally known as Red Bamba or Pink Bamba. This one is strawberry-flavored and tastes a little like cotton candy.
In 1995 the FDA issued a warning to the public against consuming the snacks, as they seem to have caused several cases of Salmonella infection all over Europe. No cases were reported in the United States as of the publication of the warning.
According to montecarlo, the word "bamba" also means "school canteen, childrens dining-room" in the Göteborg, Sweden slang. It's some sort of corruption of "barnbespisning", Swedish for children's dining-room.