Japanese bentos (lunchboxes) have always been pretty; it’s not just the outside but the inside as well.
Ok that’s kinda more like an art piece (bento art – I think it exists @_@) rather than something that ordinary people make everyday. Just wanna show you how amazing it can get, and how bento art takes on a whole new life of its own.
But even bentos made by ordinary Japanese can be amazingly pretty.
I’ve seen people eat bentos like this in school, no kidding.
At first I was like, it’s just lunch! You bring it to work/school, and you eat them up during lunch break. The end. Why the need to make it so pretty and presentable?!
But such is the Japanese mentality. They have this habit of making everything pretty and presentable. (Digress: which is why learning graphic design in Japan is kinda like a good idea, don’t you think?)
Actually, by making bentos so pretty, it makes lunch more enjoyable doesn’t it? True, it is time consuming, but having that pretty bento next to you in office/school makes you look forward to lunch even more, no?
Also, bentos are usually made by housewives (wife, for working men, or mother, for school kids). So it’s a form of expression of love for their husbands/children when they make it so pretty, on top of making it delicious as well. If you are a housewife (or a diligent working wife/mom/husband/dad, for that matter, to avoid stereotyping), won’t you want your spouse/children to be swelled with joy when they open their bento boxes and everyone around them goes in awe and become green with envy? Won’t you want your spouse/children to proudly show off your masterpiece? I certainly do want my boyfriend to enjoy my bento not only with his tastebuds, but also with his eyes and heart!
My first bentos in Japan were about a year ago, when I first came to Japan and had no idea how to cook, let alone make a pretty and cute bento.
Rest assured they tasted ok, and no I certainly didn’t get food poisoning from eating them, but I admit they look anything but appetizing as compared to the pretty bentos before them.
In Rome, do what the Romans do, and so I tried to make a decent presentable bento yesterday…
Not bad for my first try, I must say! I even bought those cute small cups for containing salad specially for this. LOL
Now, appearance aside, I have to work on improving my culinary skills!!!!