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Amelia Islander

Pack Your Leftovers with Style

Jul 22, 2013 02:00AM
We’ve been eating out at a lot of restaurants this summer while on vacation, and also hosting friends here on Amelia Island. And one of my pet peeves is the amount of disposable to-go boxes I have collected over the last couple of months. But recently I visited some friends in Virginia, who introduced me to the Tiffin. The word Tiffin has several meanings. It could mean a light meal, usually taken between lunch and dinner, a British slang word. And people in Asia used what they call Tiffin boxes to pack rice, curry, and vegetables, for their loved ones headed off to work. This is where Tiffin boxes got their concept. They consist of 3 to 4 containers stacked on top of each other. A latch is then connected to hold all the containers together. This latch comes with a handle at the top to make it easier to carry around. The idea of using a Tiffin revolves around three concepts: simplicity, beauty, and function.

The first type of Tiffin boxes were made of stainless steel. This made it easier to clean and the metal keeps the food warmer for a longer time. The great thing about stainless style boxes, though, is that they can be reheated easily without damaging the containers, and they’re better than plastic in that certain sauces like tomato and curry won’t stain metal containers. But the best use of a Tiffin, in my opinion, is to store your restaurant leftovers.

My friends have 2-sets, and keep one in each of their cars. That way, no matter what vehicle they take when dining out, there is always a Tiffin set they can use to haul away their goodies. Less trash from to-go containers is better for the environment, and saves money for all those paper and Styrofoam containers that restaurants must purchase. Various versions of Tiffins are available everywhere – at local kitchen and gift stores, department stores, and online, depending on what style you are looking for. They’re also great for camping and picnicking.