Tiffin carrier

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
A dabba, or Indian-style tiffin carrier

Tiffin carriers or dabbas are a kind of lunch box used widely in Asia for tiffin meals. From South Asia they spread to India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore, where they are now widely used.[1][2] They are also used extensively in Hungary, primarily to transport restaurant meals for consumption at home. The Hungarian version typically contains soup, a main course, and piece of cake. A very similar device is called Henkelmann in Germany. It is usually round or oval similar to military mess kits. The Henkelmann was very popular until the 1960s, but is very rarely used by Germans today.

In the Indian city of Mumbai, there is a complex and efficient delivery system that regularly delivers hot lunches packed in dabbas to city office workers from their suburban homes or from a caterer. It uses delivery workers known as dabbawalas.

Nomenclature[edit]

Tiffin carriers are known as rantang in Indonesian; mangkuk tingkat ('leveled bowls') in Malay; in Thai: (Thai: ปิ่นโต; RTGSpinto). In Arab countries they are called safartas (سفرطاس, from Turkish meaning 'travel bowls'). The Hungarian word for a tiffin box is éthordó ('food carrier').

Design and materials[edit]

Normally they come in two or three tiers, although more elaborate versions can have four. The bottom tier, sometimes larger than the others, is the one usually used for rice. Tiffin carriers are opened by unlocking a small catch on either side of the handle. Tiffin carriers are generally made out of steel and sometimes of aluminium, but enamel and plastic versions have been made by European companies.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Leong-Salobir, Cecilia (2011). Food Culture in Colonial Asia; A Taste of Empire (Hardback ed.). London: Routledge. ISBN 9780415606325. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  2. ^ "Food Carrier". Zebra e-store. Retrieved 1 November 2018.