"Accurately speaking, bento is not a kind of food, but a form of food." Japanese gourmet Lushan Renshen wrote in "Taste of Japan": "Food utensils are clothes for food. It's natural for people who care about cooking, by the way, to care about food utensils."
The bento case was born for this purpose. In addition to the basic function of holding food, it also has an aesthetic significance. In order to meet the needs of different types of food, occasions, seasons and tasks, bento cases of various shapes have emerged as the times require.
Regarding bento cases, Japan has always had the most say, but in recent years, the trend of eating bento has also affected Europe and the United States. Many European and American brands have designed and launched original bento cases. Features of European and American bento cases are as follows:
European and American bento cases are mostly made of stainless steel and plastic, and there are even foldable silicone bento cases. The good bento boxes made of plastic and silicone are rich in colors, light and easy to carry. Compared with the traditional Japanese bento cases, they are more modern and popular among young people in Europe and the United States.
Plastic is a relatively common material for bento cases, and it is also the best-selling type of bento cases on the market. The bento case is light, easy to clean, well-sealed, and can be heated by microwave. However, in terms of the plastic bento lunch boxes, you should pay attention to the selection of materials, confirm whether they can be used frequently and repeatedly, and pay attention to the temperature range of use. Plastic bento lunch boxes are not as breathable as wooden bentwood boxes, so moisture may flow back into the food and easily cause food to spoil. The characteristics of the plastic bento lunch boxes are as follows:
(1) It is easier to design the styles of plastic bento lunch boxes, various patterns can be printed on the box body, and it is also convenient to make different shapes.
(2) Plastic bento lunch boxes can also be stacked in multiple layers, and the more common ones are two-layer and three-layer types.
(3) Some brand-designed plastic bento lunch boxes are very exquisite and can fit in briefcases, making it convenient for office workers to carry working lunches.
(4) Plastic bento lunch boxes are also usually designed with food partitions in the box to reduce the use of other small tools.
I am afraid that most people's memories of metal bento boxes are still in the aluminum lunch boxes of the last century: the surface is gray-white aluminum oxide, and there are slight scratches left by spoons and chopsticks. Features are as follows:
Today's metal bento boxes are mostly made of stainless steel. The design is simple and durable, and it is not easy to wear. It is relatively resistant to corrosion and high temperature, and it is not easy to leave food grease and flavor on it, and is easy to clean. But its shortcomings are also obvious: it cannot be heated by microwave, nor can it be used for long periods of time with corrosive seasonings such as salt, soy sauce, and vinegar. However, the metal bento box has another advantage: it can be heated directly on the fire. Sometimes you can use it instead of pots and pans, and you can enjoy delicious food after heating directly on the fire.
Japanese traditional handicraft, Kokeshi, is a round-headed puppet in Northeast Japan. It has only a head and a body. According to the characteristics of each place, different characters or images are designed. The characteristics of the Kokeshi bento case are as follows:
The puppet bento case usually uses the images of a geisha, a samurai, and a lucky cat among the Kokeshi puppets, and is designed as a two-layer bento case, which is cute and practical. The puppet's head is a soup bowl, which can be used to make instant soup cubes, and the bottom two layers are used to hold meals. In addition, even if you don't bring a bento, putting a Kokeshi bento case at home is a good decoration.