midnight bento- who is eating at night?

rehfilet
Bento-ing from: › Germany
Joined: 11 Aug 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 11 weeks ago.

hello everybody,
i work at a nightclub (at the bar and as a bouncer) and eat my bentos in the near dark. while it's fun to sit in the bouncer booth and eat a cute little bento, it poses some problems with the design of the food: as everything is illuminated with colourful artificial lights, none of the pretty natural colours i try to put in the box are really visible. bright green pesto turns to black goo, reds and oranges become nearly invisible, subtle contrasts vanish..
is anybody else eating bento at night? have you come across combinations that worked especially well in the dark/weirdly lit situations? how would you design a bento that has to rely on black/white contrasts to display varity?
i also find that i seem to prefer crunchy textures in the dark, as if the feeling of the food somehow makes up for the lack of visual enjoyment. strange, i don't have problems with mushy food in the daytime..
what a weirdly formulated post! guess you can all tell that i'm a little tired. so, any suggestions?

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diana
Re: midnight bentos-who is eating at night?

I had to laugh at your post!!! My daughter has a bit different but similar problem: she has to eat her bento at her desk while still working---doesn't take a lunch break so she can get out of work an hour earlier. So she complains that the "busy" bento is too "complicated" to eat easily; it takes too much thought! LOL! But as far as low light, I suppose texture would be more of an issue. And easily identified flavors instead of subtle. Why don't you try changing your screen to black and white from color, and view some bentos to get an idea of how things look w/o color contrast? Might give you an idea or two. Good luck!

Tab
Bento-ing from: › Finland
Joined: 27 Oct 2009
User offline. Last seen 4 years 6 weeks ago.
Re: midnight bentos-who is eating at night?

Interesting question!
Maybe indeed you could try using the contrast of black and white instead of more subtle color variations. Try purple-black onigiri for example!?
http://justbento.com/forum/mixing-white-and-black-rice
Also maybe you could use dark sauces on top of lighter color food like rice or potatoes...?

Balifly
Bento-ing from: Vancouver › British Columbia › Canada
Joined: 22 Feb 2009
User offline. Last seen 18 weeks 5 days ago.
Re: midnight bentos-who is eating at night?

I eat at night during working hours too, fortunately the lunch room has adequate illumination. ^_^
You need one of these lamps.
I use one at night fishing in a lake or taking my dog for a walk in the park.
http://www.amazon.com/Flood-Light-Head-Lamp-Super-Bright/dp/B000TZBGVS
Bon appetite !

Balifly

bronwyncarlisle
Moderator
Bento-ing from: Dunedin › New Zealand
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 31 weeks ago.
Re: midnight bentos-who is eating at night?

That reminds me of my aunt who became almost blind towards the end of her life. She tended to eat a lot of pale food and had white plates and I didn't realise how blind she was getting until I watched her carefully raise an empty fork to her mouth. I ended up getting her a dark plate and a reading lamp to train on her food!

____________________________________

Bronwyn

My blog is Food and Shoes

rehfilet
Bento-ing from: › Germany
Joined: 11 Aug 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 11 weeks ago.
Re: midnight bentos-who is eating at night?

thanks for the ideas!
dark food doesn't work that well as it's kind of hard to see. i made fried little beef meatballs last week, they turned nearly invisible against the blue box i had put them in. had to hunt them down by feeling around with the chopsticks.. not very practical.
i had already thought about a little lamp, maybe the kind that is designed to be clipped on a book when reading in bed? or build a lunchbox illumination with some LEDs, hehe.
for now, i'm skipping the visual aspect and going for things that taste good without light. today is sandwiches with homemade lemon hummus and chili salami and some chocolate wafers and defrosted raspberries as dessert. not much to look at..
most of my boxes are see-though or dark colors, a nice arrangement of white things might look good. can't think of anything but onigiri, though. or, i need to get a white bento box and put in dark items! hmmmmm..

bronwyncarlisle
Moderator
Bento-ing from: Dunedin › New Zealand
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 31 weeks ago.
Re: midnight bentos-who is eating at night?

There's also fish, cauliflower, turnips, little sandwiches, cucumbers, zucchini, (both of these last being white on the inside). Ham and chicken are pale. Cheese is pale.

On the other hand, any excuse to buy a nice new bento box is always welcome, I've just ordered the white version of this. But from Amazon japan, via my friend Yoshio.

rehfilet
Bento-ing from: › Germany
Joined: 11 Aug 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 11 weeks ago.
Re: midnight bentos-who is eating at night?

back from bouncing!
interesting- i had some of the hummus before i went, on fresh, untoasted bread- it was lovely, the soft, moist rye and wheat bread slices with crunchy crusts and slightly-garlicky very-lemon scented hummus, hmmm.. i packed exactly the same, but in the dark, it suddenly lacked salt and sourness and i wished i had toasted that bread. it wasn't soggy or anything, just- different. too subtle. i checked the batch in the kitchen just now and it's just right ?? i need more contrasts at night, taste-wise!
(raspberries, on the other hand, may look black and slimy in the dark, but there's no difference in taste. they may even be better! same goes for chocolate cookies!)

am i being extra-weird here or have you ever experienced something similar?

baked things are rather nice at night. it's easy to make them pretty (i've found a store that sells those flowery muffin trays maki used for the spring muffins! i'll have to get one..) or very sweet/tart/salty/crunchy, which seems to be what my taste buds want.

there's no lack of light-colored foods, but most of it has not very much visual texture- there's bumpy (rice, small legumes, cauliflower) and dices-or-slices (nearly all the rest).
that's not true.. there are also big white beans, those actually look pretty nice with sth. cubed thrown in. and there are chick peas, which set off sliced veggies quite nicely just by shape. lotus root surely would look pretty in the dark as well.
and, oh yeah, sweet potatoes! those are not neccesarily pretty, but visibly pale and very lovely. yesterday i located a grocery store that sells nice ones at a very, very reasonable price. tomorrow i'll make some caramelized kumara and something spicy, perhaps.

i'll still have to look for a white lunch box, because i need it for eating dark food. that's reasonable, isn't it?

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