Today, in between preparing lectures and despairing at my own lack of discipline, I keep googling "bento box japan" or "bento lunch recipe". I have ordered a Bento box from Ebay, and am waiting, exited, for it to arrive.
Bento is a way ot organise a meal so that it can easily be transported. Many societies put a lot of effort into bringing meals with them from home. The Japanese bento boxes are the modern, often very high-tech (it's japanese), but always beautiful answer to the problem of bringing food. In India they have people who live from fetching lunch boxes in people's homes, dropping them off at work, then picking them up and taking them home. In Norway, we have two slices of dark bread, one with white and one with brown cheese, wrapped in waxed paper and eaten with coffee, milk or water, the infamous Norwegian matpakke.
With my food-issues, I haven't had a regular matpakke for almost 8 years. I have been lunching on salads or left-overs from last night's dinner, contained in tupperware type containers and sometimes, when possible, heated quickly in the microwave. This is ok, and works well, but imagine my delight when I started looking up different types of lunch boxes, and found the bento-boxes. Not to mention the community around them and the recipes and ideas this community generates: I love it.
While I am not all that picky about food looking pretty, and I don't think I'll be arranging pink bunnies or create desserts that look like cherry blossoms, I am looking forwards to a simple and easy way to separate foods which should not be mixed, this way giving myself more options while keeping the packaging compact and in one unit. Also, the boxes are pretty!