Thursday, May 25, 2006

Have you seen these?

Ok, this is a little thing, but it has been bothering me for a while now.



Has anyone ever had Chinese Takeout from the above type of container. I see them all the time in the movies and on TV, but never in my life have I ever encountered them. Not once, and I've eaten a lot of Chinese food in a lot of locales.

Maybe it is a regional thing or something... like I live in the only place in North America that doesn't have those neat little white cardboard boxes. Maybe I am missing out on part of the experience by only being exposed to styrofoam containers and metal serving dishes. Would my subgum wonton taste better coming from a miniature cube of cardboard? Perhaps I will never know.

Could it be that these owners keep those delightful little packages of joy for their clients who rent huge loft apartments on fast food wages and on occasion find themselves sucked into huge adventures that work themselves out over an hour or two's worth of retelling. I know my life certainly doesn't work that way.

Well, at least it won't until I get the phone company to finally give me that 555 number I've been clamoring for.

26 comments:

AG said...

You're serious? Oh, Matthew, no! Chinese tastes SO MUCH BETTER out of those containers!

Seriously -- yeah, I see 'em all the time, but I also live in my city's version of Chinatown so my mileage may well vary. Usually they're the preferred container for dryish foods like rice or noodles, as they are folded cardboard and do leak. (The chow fun immediately to my left on the desk is too gravy-y for one of those containers, to give you an idea; it travels in the usual styrofoam eggshell-style container. Duck, on the other hand -- definitely the containers.)

So yes, they do exist in the wild. They also exist at Archie McPhee FWIW: http://www.mcphee.com/items/11030.html -- I can tell from here you're glad to know this piece of information :-) .

Red said...

We don’t get them in the UK, but I had Chinese take-out in New York once and it came in those containers. I love them!

talksmart said...

still have to see one myself :-)

MC said...

AG: I think the thing that finally made me snap about this was flipping through cable yesterday and stopping on Be Cool. There was a scene where a certain group of people in the film had gone out for Mongolian barbeque and it had come in those little containers, and I had just had mongolian barbeque over the weekend and it didn't come in those things. So I started to really think about it and wonder if they truly were a movie construction rather than a real item that chinese/asian food came in.

red: given the above information, and the fact that a lot of movies take place in the New York area, that makes a lot more sense now.

talksmart: knowing that they really exist now, I guess that gives us both hope that we might yet see one in the wild.

Amanda said...

Came over via Karolczak...We have those containers in Oklahoma, but they suck. The only thing holding them together is that little metal handle, and because of that handle you can't put them in the microwave to reheat.

Schadenfreude said...

Ahh, thanks Amanda -- that explains why my nuke-o-wave went blam. :)

Here in the Dirty Jers, it depends on which place you order from. Sometimes you get these, other times you get the really eco-friendly styrofoam containers. So instead of the choice of paper or plastic, it's traditional-but-leaky or planet-killer.

D said...

I used to say the exact same thing, until I found a little restaurant here in Winnipeg that served them. They completely changed my life.

I love the little white box.

MC said...

Amanda: Well, having never seen one in real life, my concern has always been centered around the fact that they don't look like they would hold as much as a styrofoam container... which if I think about, isn't really microwave friendly either.

Schaden: I suppose you could always return the styrofoam containers back to the restaurant you got them from for additional uses, and if they took them back... well, never eat there again, because who wants to eat out of reused styrofoam.

d: maybe there is a restaurant here that actually does have them then, because I have to admit that I haven't been to them all.

I think it is my new mission in life(ok, not that major) to find movies and tv shows where they have chinese food in the containers I am familiar with. I mean, if those containers are so leaky, I don't see how anyone eats out of them in bed or out on the street.

Jeremy Barker said...

I saw them once here in dear old Toronto -- went to a wedding reception for a friend and they had food stations and you could get dumplings and noodles and such in said containers. And they did taste better.

MC said...

I thought things naturally tasted better in Toronto anyway. I mean, I've heard tales about the handrails on TTC buses tasting like buttery sweet caramel corn, I have I have.

Not that I would test that out mind you.

*dwells on his white box obsession*

Serra said...

Yep, I've seen them, complete with the pretty printing, coming to my door full of Chinese food goodness.

I can also get them in case lots--they're nice for some of the things I make, which are non-foody goodness.

Surfed in thru BlogMad.

MC said...

Do you sell those on Ebay?

Bluesky_Liz said...

I tend to think they must only have those kind of containers in the western world, because I've never seen a local resturant use those where I am (Singapore).

MC said...

Maybe because it doesn't have to be "exotic"

Carolyn said...

In Australia we only get them if you go to places like this http://www.wokinabox.com.au/. But anything delivered comes in those metal containers.

Maulleigh said...

I so want to agree with you on this one, but I HAVE had chinese take out in those little containers!!! In New York City: but I have had a lot of the styrofoam containers too. So, it depends.

MC said...

Maulleigh: The New York cartels seems to dominate the small white container trade it seems.

Carolyn: I think we have a franchise like that in Canada called Manchu Wok(without the boxes of course)

Pud said...

Yeah I was thinking the same thing till about a year ago I guess when "wok-in-a-box" opened up

MC said...

Who would have thought that little white chinese food boxes would be such a hot issue... ;)

Guru said...

We get our takeout in those containers. It makes me feel authentic, like a moviestar!

MC said...

I always expect to see Gizmo pop out of one of them though. You are watching a Woody Allen movie, and they open one of the containers up and *bam*, you got some Mogwai action, some real rock action.

Mr. Fabulous said...

I can't believe you've never seen them. I've never NOT seen them.

You gotta get out more...

MC said...

Well, now I have to find them.

tracifish said...

I'm so glad somebody finally asked. I have promised myself, if I ever see these containers I'm going buy them in bulk.

MC said...

I wonder if you could make paper lanterns out of them. There has to be other uses for those containers, because there has to be other explanations as to why some of us have never seen them.

It's Me, Maven... said...

I concur.

I live in NY, and lived in NJ my entire life, and I have never NOT seen them.

They're overrated. They tend to leak.