Like many, I'm a big fan of bento, the Japanese tradition of convenient and delicious portable lunches in a box. Said to have evolved from makunouchi bento (lit. "between-the-curtains boxed lunch") sold by vendors between acts at kabuki plays or between bouts at sumo wrestling events during the Edo Period, bento has become as famous around the world as anime, manga and ninjas. There are many benefits to embracing bento lunch culture: the ingredients are healthy and come with built-in portion control, bento is cheaper to make than eating out, plus you can enjoy what the Japanese call shoku no bi (sho-ku no bee), or "the beauty of food." Recently Mrs. J-List has been going to the gym in the mornings, and because she's too busy to make lunch at home she's been giving me bento to take to work, which I occasionally post pictures of on my Twitter feed. This is the best kind of bento in the world, called aisai bento or "loving-wife bento," which is the subject of frequent comments whenever a married man eats bento at his workplace. (Protip: you can remember the word aisai because it sounds like "I sigh" in English.) Since I've been eating bento so much these days, I've taken to keeping a bottle of that heavenly Bull-Dog sauce -- or "my-sauce" as the Japanese would say -- in my office. (You probably knew that J-List has an awesome selection of bento boxes and complete bento sets, fun bento accessories and cookbooks in stock, but if you didn't, now you do.)
Tthere's nothing like a delicious bento lunch.