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I have an obsession with bento lunches lately. What is bento you ask?

Here is a definition from Cooking

Bento, or o-bento, refers to a packaged, single-portion, portable meal that is usually eaten at lunch, but also comes in larger sizes meant for use at picnics, dinner, and parties. A bento generally consists of rice or noodles and some form of protein (e.g., meat, poultry, fish, tofu) accompanied by side dishes of raw, simmered, or pickled vegetables. There are many different types of bento boxes, ranging from traditional handcrafted wooden lacquerware to disposable containers. Most bento boxes have compartments or internal dividers for separate dishes.

Bento is an art form in Japan. Japanese women spend a good part of their mornings preparing bento for their families – there is even a sense of competition among mothers to see who can produce the most cute, appetizing, and healthy lunch for their children. Modern Japanese culture virtually revolves around compact cuteness.

I know I am not Japanese and I am sure not into cooking, but I cannot resist the cuteness of bento!

Check out some samples of bento boxes:

Why bento you ask?

I decided that this year I would begin saving money by bringing my lunch to work. Eating a ham sandwich day after day gets boring, so while researching fresh and healthy ideas for lunch I stumbled across a Web site about bento lunches. After that I was hooked on bento.

I am now eagerly awaiting the arrival of my own bento box from Japan. I will update you and I may even post some pictures of my own attempts at bento lunches.