The Lunch Is a Good Day Pastime

by Zora O'Neill on February 24, 2009

Hi, WNYC listeners. This is the genius Japanese lunchbox I have. It’s deceptively simple, but so effective. I got mine at Katagiri, on E. 59th Street.

Here it is open:

lunch box open

The little white divider is almost symbolic–it slides, and it comes out completely. It doesn’t form a perfect seal, so if I really want to keep something dry–nuts, say–I put it in a silicone muffin cup.

Then I close it all up:

lunch box closed

Seriously, it looks small, but it actually holds a pretty hefty lunch. I like having everything spread out, like it’s on a plate. And the plastic is really heavy and doesn’t stain, even if you microwave it.

I also bought this lunch box, but it is nowhere near as satisfying. I show it to you here, because you might get seduced by it at the store. Trust me, it’s not as good (even if it does have a dedicated spot for your chopsticks). For one, just too many pieces. And it actually holds _too much_ food (for me, at least).

boy box open 2

They do fit into a tidy stack–but it doesn’t seal quite as well as the plain one-piece box. Which makes me nervous.

boy box closed

Honestly, I bought it for the Engrish. How can you resist this?

dear label

Lunch is a good day pastime! This failed lunchbox pays for itself through sheer inspiration!

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Naomi February 24, 2009 at 12:06 pm

I listened. I learned. I LOVED!

2 Zora February 24, 2009 at 12:20 pm

Thanks, Naomi! Glad I could help.

3 megc February 24, 2009 at 12:58 pm

Thanks for your bento post! I will definitely check out Katagiri – thanks for the tip!

4 mike February 25, 2009 at 9:44 am

Oh Jebus, I have one of those too and the Engrish is exceptional. The lid features text that reads something like: “LUNCH SCENE: As the pressures of modern life increase, nutritional and important lunch is a crucial existence of history’s time.”

But you’re right, they really do store a lot more food than one might first imagine. I had mine for years before realizing there was yet another huge compartment built into the lid that I hadn’t even known about!

5 zora February 25, 2009 at 10:23 am

Whoa! Maybe I should look more carefully at mine…

6 chantal February 25, 2009 at 5:10 pm

Jeremy has, of late, been making fun of my bento box obsession. I suspect that when he is in NYC later this spring, he will be visiting Katagiri for me in order to buy me some presents.

7 zora February 25, 2009 at 5:47 pm

If he knows what’s good for him!

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