The Japanese gives value to their jubilant and vibrant heritage, and is, thus, reflected to their timeless culture and culinary. From Japanese fashion to food, the people of Japan dears to influence them with their undying art and color for various reasons. Reasons varying of purposes from commercialism to home management. One of the most common culinary that represents this colorful heritage in food, prepared by Japan, is the Bento. The Bento’s are exquisite lunch meals that serve as the favorite of people, ranging from children to the elderly group. People tend to bring them to offices, school, on outings and etc.
In addition of being prepared and served for outdoor family meals, the Bento’s are also made for private gatherings, where they become a convenient way of extending hospitality or stress-free service for large number of guests. Bentos are also offered at Japanese restaurants, either consumed as a dine-in meal or for take-out. They are also sold at train stations, bento vendors either having their own place or have their goods strapped behind their back. These types of bento are called ekiben. Purchasing a boxed lunch at the train station shop or inside the train are pleasures to Japanese who travel in railways.
A typical Bento lunchbox consist of rice and several dishes made from typical ingredients such as vegetables, fish, meat and eggs. With these typical elements, numerous variations can be made, especially when the cook is much in touched with his artistry. The most classic side dish contained in the Bento is the cooked egg, either prepared as tamagoyaki (omelette strips seasoned with salt and sugar); fried; scrambled; and, omelets with various ingredients. Sausage side dished in the bento is another traditional favorite. Bento’s also include fish that are grilled, fried meat, fish cake and variety of vegetables. The vegetables in the lunchboxes may be comprised as prickled, steamed or boiled.
The origination of packed lunches in Japan dates back some time around the 15th century, when people hunt, farm, or wage war. They usually carry rice balls or dried rice, and it depends whether they would want to consume it as it is (which is dried) or drench it with cold or hot water to rehydrate it. The word “Bento” was said to have been coined to describe simple meals that were given to large numbers of people at the castle of a 16th century military commander, Oda Nabunaga. Thus, the origin of the word.
The modern bento is now recognized worldwide for its variety of uniqueness and regularity (and at the same time, irregularity); and, not to mention, its appetizing contours that persuades anyone who sees it to either eat it or put it in display.
The Japanese people values appearance very much that it is reflected at their culture. Making a bento doesn’t much require that you should have best artistic references, a vital part of the preparation is making it as appealing it can be to you while having fun doing it.