Thursday, January 7, 2010

Sandwich Bento

For those that are unfamiliar with the idea of Bento (which really is just a boxed lunch, generally carried in this odd invention called a lunch box), it seems that the obvious train of thought goes like so: Bento is Japanese, so therefore it is sushi.

Not so! Yes, the word is Japanese, but while sushi may be a component , it is not synonymous with Bento! Incidentally, this misconception is something that I wish many e-bay sellers would stop taking advantage of by labelling any bento item with the sushi keyword, since it can make searching quite difficult. But I digress.

As you can plainly see above, this lunch has been made using a bento box and a hard boiled egg mold, and is using some silicone baran* to keep the jelly out of the carrots, but most of the contents would be a staple in the average grade school Hannah Montana emblazoned lunch box. Basically, a PBJ, some carrot sticks, and a hard boiled egg (and yes, also a packet of instant miso soup and a few krab sticks). Even the sandwich and carrots look the same.

The difference? Instead of a plastic baggie, I used a box meant specifically for sandwiches - the vents on the side keep the bread from getting too soggy and gross, and the egg is shaped into what is supposed to be a heart shape.

If I wanted to get more creative, I could have used a sandwich cutter on the bread, instead of just doing a triangle cut. That would have given me something like:

Same box, slightly different sandwich (Turkey and cheddar instead of PBJ), and I cut an additional piece of bread and cheese with a heart cookie cutter. I must have been running late the morning that I made this one; the box is empty and boring. Still, my point is this - a bento is only as culinarily adventurous as you choose it to be!

*baran = that plastic divider shaped like tufts of grass that you'll commonly see used at a Japanese restaurant or in supermarket sushi

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