The closest comparison we have in the West to Bento boxes are lunchboxes. However unlike lunchboxes, you won’t find a Mars Bar or a packet of crisps in a Japanese Bento box.
Depending on the region, Bento boxes consist of white rice, rice mixed with millet, or potatoes. Historically, labourers whether they were working in the rice paddies, in the mountains or even on-board fishing boats left home with Bento boxes. Nowadays they are used by office workers and school children, as well as picnic goers.
In my ‘Japanese Food!‘article I talked about the Japanese attention to detail on food presentation, and Bento boxes are no different. I wanted to share with you some amazing pictures of Bento boxes from Japan.
Don’t let the quality of these bento boxes fool you in to thinking that they are prepared by professionals, that’s not the case. These are prepared on a daily basis by every day mums.
Watch this short 4 minute long BBC News report, where you can hear the motivation behind making such painstakingly aesthetic lunch boxes…mmmm this is making me hungry…