Bento

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About Japanese Bento

About Japanese Bento

Bento are meals often packed in a box-like container. Traditionally, a bento box consisted of rice in half the box with vegetables, fish or meat, and eggs packed in the other half. The very typical, traditional bento box would have white rice with an umeboshi, or pickled plum in the center, a piece of grilled fish, tamagoyaki (Japanese omelette), and some vegetables cooked in a traditional way. Nowadays, bento boxes vary greatly in variety and many have steered away from this traditional style. Bentos can include virtually anything, from curry and fried shrimp to pasta and sandwiches. Bento boxes are sold in many grocery stores and convenience stores are especially known to carry a large variety of bentos at very affordable prices. Students and businessmen can easily get a well balanced meal at ease from nearby stores.

Character Bento

Character Bento

Recently, bentos have become very creative, with mothers creating truly works of art for their children. Character bentos have become very popular. In these character bentos, the bento maker, usually the mother, creates characters from their children's lunch ingredients. For example, a omelette rice (ketchup rice with a thin piece of cooked yellow egg on top) is shaped into Pikachu or rice balls seasoned with furikake and shaped to look like little pigs. The efforts of these moms and their creativity gave their children a little excitement to what they would find when they opened their lunch boxes at school.

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