September 18, 2007

Mr. Bento Madness

Mr. Bento

Mr. Bento

I have an awesome friend, Amy, who runs the EAForums online discussion board. She did something really nice for me this week. As a gift, she sent me something I’ve been coveting for a while. It’s pictured at right: a Zojirushi “Mr. Bento” stainless steel insulated lunchbox!

The first time I heard about one of these was from Sarah, my cousin Bull’s wife. She’d bought him one and packed his lunched in it when he was working at the Surface Warfare Officer’s School in Newport, RI.

It’s basically a big Japanese thermos with 5 plastic microwaveable containers for food. One bowl for soup, one large container and two smaller Tupperware-ish round containers. It’s got a top that snaps on and a carrying case. Inside the case there’s a forked spoon (spork) with it’s own little cover to keep it clean.

The Japanese have a real skill for the boxed lunch. “Bento” is the Japanese term for a single meal, packed for someone to eat. Kids who grew up not wanting any of the food on their plates to touch other foods would have been thrilled with the Japanese bento, which usually comes in an actual, rectangular box consisting of several compartments. When Maggie and I have a chance to catch lunch at the local Japanese restaurant (which happens maybe once a year) their bento is both satisfying and economical.

Mr. Bento is inspired by the traditional Japanese bento, but stacked vertically and insulated so that it can be safe to eat within 6 hours of having been packed.

Here are some Bento-related links:

A huge “thank you” to Amy, again. Maggie is hoping that this means I’m going to cook stir fry more often during the week. The answer is “yes.” I’m going to need rice and food to put into my bento!

Posted by James at September 18, 2007 8:24 PM
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These are very useful. I have a work friend who has a Mr Bento, but she is considering purchasing a Ms Bento. She is a very light eater, and the Ms Bento will work for her on most days. I think it has just one less inner container.

Leave it to the Japanese to convince Americans that carrying a lunchbox can again be 'cool'.

Posted by: Kitten Herder at September 19, 2007 11:03 AM

I love Bento boxes. When I go with one of my work friends to the local sushi place, I either get their noodles or the bento box.

An old coworker of mine has a rectangular bento set. I love the slogans on them, too. They are clearly bad translations. I'll have to IM him and find out what kind he has.

Posted by: briwei at September 19, 2007 11:20 AM

The bento meal at the local Japanese restaurant is ridiculously huge! Lots of food... all of it tasty. It's definitely two meals.

Posted by: Maggie at September 19, 2007 12:28 PM

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