On my many explorations of cyber space, I happened to find instructions on how to make heart shaped boiled eggs. Although still recovering from the obvious heart shaped fest that is Valentines Day, I was rather intrigued, since as you can see from the picture, they do look rather good.
The blog is by a Japanese born, but American based lady called Anna, and the instructions for amazing eggs can be found here.
Upon further exploration, it seems that these ornate food creations are specifically for a type of Bento box called Kyaraben or Charaben, which is a style of elaborately arranged bento which features food decorated to look like people, characters from popular media, animals, and plants.
The history of Bento in Japan goes back some 900 years with the first boxes being wooden lacquered boxes made during the late 16th century.
Bento box lunches have been popular ever since, and there are thousands sold daily at train stations and aboard trains, but they aren’t nearly as artistic as Kyaraben.
Originally, a decorated bento was intended to interest children in their food and to encourage a wider range of eating habits, but now this craze has spawned hundreds of blogs, cookbooks and even a number of contests to find the best decorated bentos and characters.
Playing with food has never looked so good.