Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Bento Mania

I think I'm a little infatuated with bento boxes. Bento boxes are phenomenon pioneered by the Japanese, like little lunchboxes: an ancient and elegant way to pack the maximum amount of food, all in a graceful, compact space.

Aesthetics are ingrained in Japanese culture. In a country where there were limited natural resources, the culture has evolved to create more for less by making everything transcend it's simplicity, and this is reflected in the design of almost every artist and designer there.

It is popular in Japan for homemakers to spend time creating a carefully planned bento box, and it's growing in popularity within the western world too. Many mothers make bento boxes for their children - they make food more appealing to eat and making and presenting food with care is an act of love, whether it means a judicious balance of food ingredients (for taste, color, texture), or making the contents fun for a child, using imaginative cut-out shapes.

Furthermore, they're ideal for dieters - aesthetically pleasing, cheap to make, nutritionally balanced and portion controlled.

I like them myself because they allow you to have a creative outlet in something that was once mundane. I don't often have the time to make them, but when I do I find that making them is often very cathartic. Theraputic, almost.

{photos via Bentomom}

1 comment:

  1. Ouuuuuu goody! I know we are going to be friends! I love bento lunches too. THE cutest thing to happen to lunch since tin lunch boxes!


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