It looked like a cheese puff, just an average puffed corn faux-cheese covered this is not real food snack delight.
I consumed far too many of these things as a child. Yes, I was that kid with the cheese powder mustache and bright orange fingertips on the regular. I am still battling the messy eater in me; food inevitably ends up on my outfit more often than not.
My first response upon seeing this bag of cheese-doodle look-alikery was apathy. No need for another cheese puff, had one, had them all. But then, I noticed the foreign lettering and the creepy and enthusiastic baby cartoon and found myself in the throws of an anthropological study opportunity. How could I turn down a taste of something from another land, me, the self-proclaimed food and travel enthusiast with a love of all things vending-machine style snack.
My hand entered the bag. My hand searched around and located one single puff. My hand moved upward to my mouth. I bit. The puff dissolved in that magical way I had come to rely on. But something was missing, something big. There was nothing. I tasted nothing, nothing at all. I waited. I scratched my head. I took another.
Bam(ba)! Peanut Butter explosion. My god, this is no ordinary cheese puff. This is a peanut butter treat disguised as a cheese doodle.
This is a miracle. In Israel they call it Bamba and it has compromised 25% of the snack food industry market since 1963. Half a giant bag later, I understand why. It has magnetic powers, drawing your hand in ad naseum. With no cholesterol, preservatives, or food coloring, and vitamin enriched properties, who cares about the calorie content. It’s Friday….