Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Chew On This: Tuesday

Finally, a Chew On This entry we can all agree on: Smile's spring bunnies! Have a gander at these cute and (mostly) delicious little things...

Sample 1: White Rice Bunny with Bunnish Smile.

This image © SMILE.

Sample 2: Spring Colors Bunny. The detail of the little chick in the egg... so adorable!

This image © SMILE.

Sample 3: Excitable Bunny on Rice with Clovers.

This image © SMILE.

Sample 4: In all honesty, this one might be a squirrel.

This image © SMILE.

Smile (aka Fumie, but you didn't hear that from me) is a Tokyo local with a love of obento design. She really is awesome!

See more of her work here. (Sorry, the site's in Japanese only!)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Chew On This: Friday

There are two American charaben artisans profiled in Face Food, and they certainly outdo themselves in terms of creative food manipulation. One such success is Mari Baker Natakiya of Athens, Georgia (...of all the wonderful places!).


I asked her a few questions for the book, so here's a taste:

Why do you think so many Japanese mothers make these obentos?
I don't know that I can truly answer this question. I think perhaps that every mother has a different reason for making obentos. And, at least for me, it can change day-to-day depending on whether my daughter is sick or upset, happy or sad. In general, I would guess that it is because bentos and the personalized decorations are such a sweet way to remind children that they are loved and have their mother's full support even when they can't be right there beside them.


How much time and money do you spend making them?
More time than money goes into my bentos. Often I will make huge batches of food and freeze them which cuts down a lot on both the time I spend on individual bentos and the amount spent on food. When I am making three very decorative bentos at the same time I can spend as much as an hour to an hour and a half. Usually it takes me about thirty minutes to put three bentos together.

What separates this from an attractive-looking arrangement of food in a box?
That's a difficult question. I think maybe I would say that bento making is a hobby. Because the bento boxes, accessories and ideas make it such a special, enjoyable and creative expression of individuality it becomes more than just making a lunch. There is this great feeling when bento boxes are pulled out, a lot like when special plates come out for holidays. Bentos are completely unique and suited exactly to the tastes and needs of individuals and that makes them almost magical.


For more with Mari Baker Natakiya, check out Face Food.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Chew On This: Thursday

Now here are two charaben I can really get behind the table for: Le Petit Prince and Tin Tin, two of Europe's most cherished children (as opposed to _____ or _____ ). Which would you rather swallow? (...and don't be dirty-minded, please... kids are looking at this stuff!)

This image © KUBO.

This image © KUBO.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Face Food in Greece & Italy!

Face Food is making its rounds around Europe. Huge, multi-spread articles were recently published in the Italian magazine, Flair, as well as the Marie Claire of Greece. How awesome is that!?

Ohhhh Greece, how I'd love to come show you the ways of the charaben!

Here's the same idiot checking out both featured articles:


Chew On This: Wednesday

The following are charaben by Maiko Nihei. They're both Power Rangers, but... I honestly don't know a thing about Power Rangers! (...aside from what Wiki tells me, and we all know not to believe anything one reads on Wiki, right?? *smiley emoticon*) When I first saw Power Rangers (...god, the 90s!!?) I singled it out as an Ultraman knock-off and never really gave it a proper chance...

This image © MAIKO NIHEI.

This image © MAIKO NIHEI.

Does anyone know the difference between Rangers? Which would you rather chew on? I call dibs on the Pink Ranger!

(retro ooo la la!)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008