Most of the individuals today are against using plastic in any form for their lunch boxes. This led to the development of several alternatives; one among them being a bamboo bento lunch box. One of the hardy wood kinds, bamboo is bacteria resistant besides being a sustainable item.
Making of Bamboo Bento Boxes
Bamboo lunch boxes are most suitable for school-going children and office goers as it helps to keep the food fresh and nice and makes a small contribution on your part towards a greener environment. Natural rubber, bamboo strips and rice powder are the basic ingredients used in the making of the bamboo bento box. The bamboo is sourced from known bamboo groves and then cut into thin strips. The strips are glued together in the desired shape with glue made from a mixture of rice powder and water. It is subsequently polished to give it a glossy finish and endowing it with the features of water and dirt resistance.
Usage of the Bamboo Bento
Bamboo is most convenient for solid food items though you can use smaller containers which contain air-tight lids for carrying anything like a dip or a sauce. They can easily fit into the bamboo bento box thus serving your purpose. Food items like sandwiches and rice preparations can be wrapped in bamboo leaves within the box; it ensures that the items breathe and therefore retain their freshness and flavor. Bamboo bento boxes are hand crafted and popularly carried on an outing for experiencing the magical splendour of cherry blossom trees in Japan. Such picnic-parties are called as ‘ohanami’ in Japan.
Criteria for Ensuring a Right Purchase
There are a few factors that have to be kept in mind while buying your bamboo bento box. The box should be free of splinters and should feel sturdy and strong. It is essential to see through cheap and flimsy baskets which will not last long. Again, be alert for thickly lacquered bamboo boxes as chances of them hiding cheap material beneath cannot be ruled out.Depending upon their kind, the color of bamboo boxes ranges from a light green to a creamy white or a very lighter shade of brown.
Bamboo bento boxes have to be cared for adequately if you want them to last for longer times. After use it needs to be wiped out clean and then washed with a mild soap and warm water. It should then be rinsed well and wiped dry using a soft cloth. If some rice particles get stuck in it then it can be soaked for a while in water and the particles scraped off the box. The box needs to be thoroughly dried before it can be stored inside.You can oil the bamboo box with olive oil or flax seed oil or any other food-grade vegetable oil to ensure that it does not go dry. The boxes are not dish washer safe nor are they microwaveable.
On a Concluding Note
Bamboo has been used for a number of purposes since ancient times. It is totally bio-degradable and therefore has become very popular among the environment conscious population of today. It’s no wonder that the demand for bamboo bento boxes is growing year on year!