Collecting parcels here in Rabat is always a challenging affair! Generally any packages larger than about 2-3 books ends up in the central post office to be checked by customs. Now this:
a) involves driving to the centre of town in the traffic from hell and finding parking which is just like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack, and
b) attempting to explain in my rather rudimentary French/Arabic to the customs official what the contents of the packages are and waiting to see if my explanation will incur an import duty more than the value of the contents of the parcel.
So last week when our bento parcels arrived I took a deep breath, headed off, found parking within a kilometre of the post office (the area outside the post office is notorious for demonstrations, not always that peaceful either) and made my way to collect the eagerly anticipated parcel! Explaining to the customs officer what bento boxes are was fairly interesting to say the least as it is obviously not a big thing here, so they let me go without any charges, a huge relief!!
Bento is a packed meal, Japanese of origin and traditionally consists of rice, fish or meat, and one or more vegetables as a side dish. You can however put anything you like in it! This has developed into an enormous business and there are millions of bento items for sale, bento contests and hundreds of online sites and blogs dedicated to the art of bento making. Some of the bento out there are really just that, works of art!
I ordered from both I love Obento and J-Box and I have to say both were most efficient, my orders arrived well packaged, they both deliver worldwide and both arrived within a week…….a miracle in Morocco!!! You can also shop around on E-bay for cheaper prices. Some of the boxes I find were really expensive, so I opted for the cheaper boxes which work just as well.
The kid’s love the concept and it is a sure way to get them to eat much healthier lunches.
Today’s lunch included:
Onigiri Bear Rice Balls
Leftover Teriyaki Marinated Chicken Thighs, sliced
Carrots shaped into flowers
A small bottle of soya sauce
1 small round cheese
A few pistachio nuts
A few mini olive cracker breads
A few grape skewers
1 small serviette
Here are just a few Bento sites for inspiration: