Most of us have all seen a bento. Maybe some of us have even made our own! A bento is a Japanese lunch box. There are many different types of bento boxes.
The original bento was first created by samurais. Samurais created the foods that evolve into the modern day bento. During this time, a bento was simple and could carry rice balls or simply just rice.
During the Meiji era, Japan was modernizing by opening their markets to the global world. The bento also became modernized. Workers made their own lunch boxes and brought them to work, mothers prepared a bento box for their children, and office workers did the same. Aluminum and lacquer boxes became popular. Many bento in Japan now are mass produced and could be bought in many places: bento shops, train stations, restaurants, and convenience stores. They are very common.
There are many different types of bento. One very popular one is called the kyaraben, also known as the character bento. It is a bento that is designed with cute characters or cartoon characters. It was originally meant to entertain children. However, now there are national contests held .
Another type of bento is called the Ekiben. Ekibens are sold on shinkansen (Japanese bullet trains) and other express trains. Each station is known to have their own signature bento. There are some people who ride trains to collect the various bento.
The bento has become an important part of the Japanese culture and pastimes. People enjoy a bento under a sakura tree or during the hanami.
There are different bento that can be created. There are simple ones with rice and a umeboshi (pickled ume plum) to more extravagant ones.
If you’re interested in making a bento, check out this website right here.
Enjoy the rest of January everyone!