Tiffin food carriers / lunch box?
I have been thinking about Tiffin food carriers as an alternative to other "lunch box" options. How practical are these in the USA? One thing I also wondered about was keeping hot things hot and cold things cold. Do people in other parts of the world only keep hot things or cold things in them for any single meal? Since I typically pack my lunch 5 hours before I eat, I also wondered about food safety.
Maybe I'm better off using the plastic containers that seem to wear out and get thrown away after some use that are also easy to microwave.
Traditional metal Tiffin boxes aren't necessarily leak-proof, they won't keep your food warm/cool, and they don't play nice with microwaves. But, you know what, they are darn cool, so hang the practicality! I think they are great for a salad and a sandwich (salad dressing in a leak proof pouch)
I understand that in a 3-tiered tiffin, for instance, a gel pak in the middle tier will keep the other tiers cold for about an hour. To keep hot food hot insulated bags are required. Reusing any lunch box or pail is infinitely better than disposable plastics, IMNSHO. Personally, I think they're a great idea.
ETA:Originally Indian housewives prepared their husbands' lunch or afternoon snacks after the men went off to work. The tiffins were delivered by a "dabbawalla" to the office later in the day so the food was just the right temperature when it arrived.