Amy Tries Again


Things I Like, Part 2: Bento Obsession
April 30, 2010, 4:51 PM
Filed under: Things I Like | Tags: ,

I have just not been that full of hate lately, dear reader.  For this reason (and, just perhaps, because of the fact that I am rather intimately involved with a spectacular production of The Tasmanian Babes Fiasco – you can read a bunch of reviews at our fearless director’s blog here) I have been less than diligent when it comes to shaking my fist at Things I Do Not Like via the internet.

Fear not.  Whilst the hate is lacking, the ranting continues.  For a few years, I have been enjoying an on-again, off-again obsession with making myself lovely little bento lunchboxes.  Clueless?  Basically, you take the Japanese fondness for cute small colourful things and apply it to your lunchbox.  The mix of foods of different colours and flavours generally means the lunch is pretty nutritious.

Traditionally, think this:

Image from yumsugar.com.

More recently, think this:

Also from yumsugar.com.

That’s a kyaraben (a character bento).  Obviously, while this is FREAKING AWESOME, it’s just a little time-consuming.  Most bentos are somewhere between the two – pretty little compartmentalised lunches with sickeningly cute touches.

I LOVE bento.  Seriously, you have no idea.  I went through a phase a while ago where my life was pretty much devoted to acquiring the necessary equipment – various lunchboxes, little plastic dividers so the food didn’t touch other kinds of food, hole punches to make little seaweed shapes, vegetable cutters so my carrot pieces could be in the shapes of sakura blossoms…oh, it was marvellous.

A delivery I received at the height of the first wave of my obsession. Thanks, internet!

Jaunts into Asia were nothing but opportunities to GATHER MORE STUFF.  While it’s a Japanese phenomenon, supplies were to be found throughout the region – albeit with varying success.  Singapore was sub-par.  Thailand was…you know what?  Forget it.  Amy is not alliterative.  I got some awesome stuff in Thailand, but Japan (surprisingly enough) was my Mecca.  I cannot impress upon you enough, dear reader, how astoundingly wonderful the ¥100 shops are for those who like to purchase cute plastic crap.

(During an impro show a few weeks ago, I played a woman obsessed with Tupperware.  I didn’t realise it at the time, but I just might have been drawing on my bento experience.)

Anyway, let’s cut to the chase.  Think your hard-boiled egg would be better if it was sporting a little bunny face?  Do you want a rice ball in the shape of a teddy bear?  Need to borrow a teeny tiny sauce bottle shaped like a piglet?  Come up and see me sometime.

A meagre collection of images of bentos I made when the obsession first hit is here.  Peruse at leisure.

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1 Comment so far
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I TOTALLY relate to this and I too have experienced the mind-exploding joy of Hyaku-en store! The colors! The cuteness! Aaaaahhhh.

My obsession is with Japanese stationery and candy, and I’m awaiting my first shipment from JBox.com, upon which I shall be squealing non-stop for at least three weeks.

Comment by theshylion




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