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Jamie · Updated Sep 27, 2014 · Announcements

Take the Bento Challenge

The art of a well-crafted lunchbox is greatly admired in Japan. This art is known as bento, and it requires 15 minutes of morning preparation and the willingness to be creative with groceries and leftovers. The goal is simple: make something as mundane as eating lunch an enjoyable experience through a variety of nutrients, flavors, colors, textures, and arrangement.

I’ve been dabbling in bento the last few months as an alternative to fast food. It involves a little research and some special tools, but it’s easy to adapt what you currently have in the kitchen if you’re just getting started. I highly recommend both the website and book Just Bento by Makiko Itoh which breaks down everything into simple steps for beginners. Bento & Co. has a huge catalog for those looking for a wide variety of tools and bento boxes. Packing a lunch isn’t so boring anymore!

Throughout August, AnimeChicago invites you to make and share your bento. Simply take a photo of your lunch and Tweet it to @animechicago with the hashtag #bentochallenge. We’ll share these photos with the community and pick our favorites at the end of the month for a spotlight post. Feel free to send us questions and tips of your own, too. Happy bento-making!