Lunch Boxes

(Today’s post has nothing to do with fibers. So, skip as you wish.)

I smiled when I saw these LunchBots at the health food store today.

Why? They reminded me of the metal bento boxes we had while growing up in Taiwan.

Each evening, leftovers are packed in tight into these metal boxes and tied with string.  There’s usually some sort of tag (think dog tags) tied on with the string. Then they are placed in the refrigerator.

In the morning, we would carry our boxes to school. Once at school, we would toss them in a pile outside of the class room. Yup. Just tossed it in a pile.

After school has started, the janitor would come by and pick up all the bento boxes and they would disappear until lunch time.  At lunch, they would magically reappear, steaming hot.  I’m not sure where he took them, or what kind of device he used, but I imagine that it was some sort of large steamer. All the metal boxes would be tossed in, steamed, and brought back in time for lunch.

As lunch time progresses, our ears are tuned for the sound of the janitor coming by and the clatter of metal boxes. The sound of lunch — better than the bell! And the aroma of steamed food.  It’s an odd, indescribable smell of all sorts of leftovers being heated up together.  Not exactly harmonious, but not unpleasant either. But, perhaps it’s just olfactory memories tied with hunger and the promise of food.

At lunch, there’s the big scramble to find your own lunch box (this is where the dog tags come in), and you would have a nice hot lunch.*

LunchBots would like you to think that they are into something new, but to me, this is old technology at its best. And lots of pleasant memories to go with. I may have to buy one just for that!

* And this is why, to this date, I can’t face a cold sandwich or salad for lunch. To me, lunch is supposed to be hot, darn it!

2 thoughts on “Lunch Boxes”

  1. They were heated in giant pots, suspended over boiling water. They were the same ones used for making the rice and goodie filled things wrapped in leaves (like tamale steamers).

    If you watch the movie; Eat, Drink, Man, Woman; you can see the school kitchen lunch scene as they pull the metal containers out of the giant pot.

Comments are closed.