What is a Bento box?

Have you ever heard of the incredible Japanese-style lunch box with little of everything? Well, yes it is the Bento box! Ever since the 13th century, the bento box has undoubtedly represented beautiful Japanese culture! It is very convenient for carrying it and is nutritionally balanced and hence, promotes the idea of a balanced diet.

History of the Bento box

To begin with, around 1185, the hoshi-ii or dried meal was common in Japan. Eat was consumed without any processing and no special packaging was a part of the culture. In 1568, special wooden boxes were used to create the true bento box the world knows today! During the 1600s to 1800s, the bento box became a part of the everyday routine of all Japanese origin people. Different ingredients were used to make them particularly depending on the economic condition of people. Plastic and aluminium slowly came into use too. The word bento comes from Chinese song slang term which means ‘convenient’.

Making of the Bento box

The luxurious and gorgeous bento boxes were hand-crafted from wood by talented craftsmen. Surprisingly, gourd-shaped bento boxes were trending during the 19th century. The modern-day bento box collection is usually made up of plastic and they are covered with beautiful patterns and designs. Wood and Bamboo are used to make eco-friendly bento boxes.

How to assemble a Bento box?

To make an ideal bento box, sticking to the variety is important! A carb, protein, vegetable and fruit mix is present in the ratio of 4:3:2:1. Another key point is that it also comes with a fun rule of including the following colours-red / orange, yellow, green, white and black. They are made to be eaten cold without any kind of heating.

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Main types of Japanese Bento

The most common type is makunouchi bento which is divided into 2 sections. One of them contains rice while the other one has a colorful dishes. Another beautiful type is koraku bento, also called the picnic bento. It is perfect for a large public gathering. It is full of traditional Japanese dishes. Moreover, the jubako boxes are stacked one over the other to make a special design. They have been a part of celebrations since the 18th century.

When it comes to the peak of cute bento boxes, it is time to talk of aisai bento also called the love bento! It has specially crafted treats with cute messages written with dry seasoning. The ones popular amongst children are Chara-ben and oekaki-ben. In these bento boxes many ingredients are arranged such that they look like popular anime characters. To summarize, for travelling purposes, eki-ben and sora-ben happen to be perfect! They are easily available at train stations and airports.

Team MBD

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