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We will start our journey on the north coast of Taiwan in Fulong, perhaps the most famous of all railway bentos. We will then work our way through central and southern Taiwan to try to sample 8 key bento boxes and explore their history and relevance – and we’re going to try to do this all in one day! The Taiwanese lunchbox or Bento finds it’s history in Japan, where the traditional origins of the highly portable and convenient box of food dates back almost 1000 years. The first Lunchboxes to be eaten on Taiwanese soil were most likely by Japanese colonizers in 1895, and it was from this point on that Bento boxes became a staple of Taiwanese cuisine. Bentos – basically a box of rice containing vegetables, a single or half egg and traditionally, a cut of pork or pork chop, are a perfect, filling meal conveniently packaged for manual workers and traditionally eaten outside. It’s not surprising then that lunchboxes became popular among travellers. The railway Bento – perhaps the most famous kind of Bento in Taiwan, developed along the rails of Taiwan to be sold from the platforms at stations to passengers or eaten by the railway workforce. Bentos are also, to this day, sold on the trains by the Taiwan Railway Administration. Bentos and bento restaurants can emerge in any location and become popular.
Music by Scott Buckley – www.scottbuckley.com.au
Guanxi Website : https://guanxi.com.tw/
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With thanks to Mark Lee
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