The Start-Up Nation does it again. Following the global trend of alternative meat technologies, tech incubator TooCrowded has taken Israel’s most consumed snack food – the ubiquitous Bamba – and turned it into a faux meat patty.The BambaBurger is already a big hit in Jerusalem’s Mahaneh Yehuda, where trendy bistros like Grave are tossing them off the griddle like hot cakes. “I love that it has a vaguely peanuty taste and no actual substance,” said Yael R Nutts from the capital’s Nahlaot neighborhood.
“Instead of trying to be savory, juicy, and delicious, like most burgers are, this one speaks directly to my inner bratty five-year-old.” Accounting for 101% of all snack sales in Israel, Bamba has been described at “Cheez Doodles without the cheese” but nobody has been able to verify what its actual ingredients are.Ollie Caneat, a friend of Nutts, said that it didn’t matter, because Bamba was an Israeli tradition. “No matter what we disagree on, all Israelis agree on Bamba. Now we can have it with melted cheese, onions and ketchup,” she said.“Anyway, I think it’s terrible the way humans kill innocent animals so we can eat them. We all need to get along. I grew up fighting with my friends over Bamba, and that’s what made me a peacenik today. Staying away from meat makes you less aggressive.”Nutts noted that consumption of Bamba has been linked to Israel’s low incidence of peanut allergy. When a passerby argued that Bamba is a junk food containing high amounts of fat and salt, Nutts replied, “Oh yeah? Do you want to fight?”