Series: Yum-Yum Bento (Book 1)
Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Quirk Books; 1 edition (July 1, 2010)
Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.5 x 7.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (176 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #166,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #69 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Asian Cooking > Japanese #1577 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Cooking Methods #2022 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International
As someone who's always been interested in not only preparing delicious and healthy meals but also presenting them beautifully, I was delighted to come across the idea of obento. I'm so looking forward to trying these ideas out for my little girl!The book is very informative about the concept of "eating with your eyes" before you eat your meal, and also discusses the proportional nutrition of veg to starch to protein to fruit/sweets that is aimed for in the bento lunch concept. The sample pictures are oh-my-goodness adorable and extremely creative and instructions for each idea, as well as where to find extra materials (egg shapers, food picks, etc.) and cheaper but serviceable alternatives (hole punches, toothpicks, etc.) are clearly written. All concepts are defined and all recipes are clearly written - these ideas will take a bit of time to prepare, but are not at a difficulty level to make them something most people couldn't take on.Personally I think this book will be just for ideas and instruction. The recipes were small portions (not practical in my household) and all but a few included meat (also not happening in my household). No big deal because they didn't write it to be a family-sized meal or vegetarian cookbook so I can't fault them for either. Just mentioning it as a heads-up to others who might be in the same situation (vegetarian and/or too busy to cook a tiny separate meal instead of simply including a portion of the whole family's larger meal).The only critique I have of the book is one that another reviewer mentioned and that is the repetitiveness. For as adorable as the obento features in each recipe are, all are made of either egg, rice, lunch meat, hot dogs, or sliced cheese. Most of the facial features are made of nori.
As a public school teacher, it's easy to see how kids are not at all enthused about eating their meals, or being picky about veggies. You would too, if you were faced with bland, colorless, unappetizing fare on a daily basis (no offense meant to our hardworking cafeteria staff, I'm perfectly aware it's hard to cook for hundreds of kids with different tastes on a certain budget everyday!). However, if their parents used a resource book like this to create nutritious meals for them, chances are very high that these aforementioned problems will go away. Love is in the making, and there's hard evidence to eat! Yum!As an Asian, it seems to me that bento is one of the super kid-friendly meals we have. I remember growing up using bento boxes as baon and eating every single grain of rice! Too bad the characters - if there were any - weren't as cute as the ones in this book, but at least I'll have ideas for my kids. It's so easy, we can make these when my students have a lesson that involves cooking & nutrition! They actually had a taste of it when we had a hanami by the Tidal Basin this past Cherry Blossom Festival - and even those that professed a dislike for veggies ate the cucumber pickles!This book allows people who are first-time bento makers to have an idea of how easy it can be to make, given easy-to-follow instructions and colorful graphics that enable one to see the finished product. The only problem is, having to give it away before you eat all of the kawaii food you just made.There aren't too many English bento books that are this clear and "idiot"-proof. It even gives you a time frame so you can work it into your busy schedule. Try it, you'll like it!Below is my comment for Ms. Negative Reviewer, in case you don't get to read it.
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