Lunch box is Obento!!

obento1.jpgIn elementary school and junior high, I had school lunch "kyushoku." But when I was in a kindergarten, I took obento every day. My mom did not make cute obento like her or her. But it is good memory to have mom’s obento every day. How can I say…I feel home made obento would be important communication between moms and their children, mom would cook and fill container thinking of children. My mom cared I would eat lunch at all because I could not eat much before junior high.

From wiki, the origin of bento can be traced back to the late Kamakura Period (1185 to 1333) when cooked and dried rice called hoshi-ii was developed. Hoshi-ii can be eaten as is, or can be boiled with water to make cooked rice, and is stored in a small bag. In the 16th century, wooden lacquered boxes were produced and bento was eaten during a hanami or a tea party. When I was a kid, an almunium container with some character print was popular, but I hated it because soup and sauce dripped.

Times have changed, also technology has dramatically changed. We have convenient Obento items, this container has a keep-warm function (Well, I hardly saw such a bombastic container around me, maybe carpenters or those people who would go to work by car can take such a big container) and there are many cute cooking tools like thisWhat is this?  It’s an octopus sausage maker, still an important item for kid’s lunch! This is an informative, cute obento site, check it out.

Not only just cooking items, food itself has developed. Since the number of working moms is much more than before, we need to cook obento quickly in the morning. Frozen foods are always very convenient for obento because just a few minutes heating by microwave or toaster oven is okay without cooking. There are various frozen "small size" foods for obento. Ohitashi (spinach dipped in soy sauce) or Hijiki (cooked seaweed) can’t be a main dish, but these are important backseat players for nutrient balance and also to caulk the container without gap.

obento2.jpgI read, frozen foods for which you don’t need to use even microwave or toaster are getting popular. Open package and set into obento container, that’s all. The frozen food will be good to eat at room temperature around lunch time. Nissui is the big seafood and frozen food maker, they made the "Obento Benri" series, they are food you don’t need to heat and will be nice to eat at room temperature. Japanese veges dish, Chinese,Korean, they are all good to eat without any cooking. You know Ajinomoto?!. They have some frozen food for Obento you can use without any cooking too: fried chicken, rice with sauce, etc.

Ah, I read an another article. Japanese food is the boom in the world. (Wow! Takoyaki shop in the UK? In Moscow, a lot of sushi bars opened in the last few years, but half of them are under freshness indicator, umm it’s scary.) And the biggest soy sauce maker Kikkoman will make a factory in Europe. I suppose sooner or later those frozen foods will go to foreign countries. So would you try cooking obento? It’s very easy to make it now. What you do is just pack, then you will have Japanese lunch box.

1 Comment so far

  1. Justin (unregistered) on May 8th, 2006 @ 3:17 am

    Great work!
    My homepage | Please visit

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