Monday, December 20, 2010

MUST TO EAT #7: BENTO (especially "ekiben")

In Japanese, lunch box is called "Bento".

A well-known part of Japanese food culture, bento boxes are small, compact containers meant to hold an individual serving of rice and a few side dishes. Japanese word "bento" is used to mean a meal served in a box.

A traditional bento consists of rice, fish or meat, and one or more pickled or cooked vegetables, usually in a box-shaped container.

Although bento are readily available in many places throughout Japan, including convenience stores, bento shops, train stations, and department stores, it is still common for Japanese homemakers to spend time and energy for their spouse, child, or themselves producing a carefully prepared lunch box.

And bento may showcase regional specialties - this is true of ekiben, takeaway bento sold at railway stations around Japan.

ekiben at Kinugawa Station, Tochigi. They have a speciality of Tochigi beef.

It is said each prefecture in Japan has their own ekiben.

You can take an ekiben eating tour of the nation if you like!

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