Friday, April 4, 2008

Tiffin Tales

The Great Tiffin Search
I have discovered a very cool thing - something that probably millions of people in the world use - but it's not readily available here. This something is a Tiffin Tin. It is a really cool little unit that consists of two (or more) tins, usually round, that stack together and close up with a handle. It's made of metal and often has a little plate as well. Here is a link to what one looks like. It's a pretty long link, so depending on how you are reading this, you may wish to cut and paste it into your browser.
I sometimes buy food in the cafeteria downstairs, but since I take it back to my desk, I end up with styrofoam that I can't recycle, or plastic that I really don't need. I've been searching for the perfect plastic free alternative and I think this might do it. It's not too big, but I think it holds more than enough for a lunch. I can take this down with me and have them fill it instead of a styrofoam container. And if I want soup, I can take their ceramic bowl and then pour it into my container (so they know what size to charge me for) And it would be great for bringing salad, sandwiches, fruit etc. to work. Not so sure about bringing warm stuff, as I have a long commute and I don't think it would be warm by lunch. I suppose I could keep a ceramic bowl here, too, for heating up things.
So my challenge is to find one of these. I live in Surrey, BC which has a very large Indian community - so perhaps there may be a place to buy one. I'll ask around. I can always buy one online, but I would like to see what other options I have, as the one in the link above is the only one I can find online. We may also go to Granville Island for lunch one weekend and there used to be an Indian restaurant called Rubina Grill that sold them with lunches and you could bring them back for cheap refills. (kudos to them for providing a great incentive to reduce takeout garbage!)
When I find one - I'll let you know where - and if you know of a place - leave a comment. It's such a great little item that others might love to get one! And just think, you'd be the talk of the lunch room. Just add a cloth napkin, your own cutlery (bamboo or metal) and you're set! And if you really like, you can scout out or make yourself a funky little tote bag to put it in. I think if I can't find one, I just might sew up a fun canvas tote that has room for a tiffen, with a big pocket to hold my mug and little pockets for my cutlery and napkin. Hey - I just might be on to something! Fashion forward AND a greenie!

P.S. I just got my organic order and while the average distance products travel to the grocery store is 2500kms, my order travelled only 30km to their warehouse. Pretty fabulous!


Peaceful Valley said...

Jackie - I have never seen on of these. I will keep my eye open for one. Perhaps I had just never paid them any attention! Susan in SC

Maisie said...

Jackie, maybe a chinese/Indian restaurant supply store!

Remeber seeing one of these when Gordon Ramsey was doing his show in USA.

RJ said...

Maisie - I was given a place to go check. I live in a region with a large Indian population and a friend of mine gave me a suggestion of where she thinks she's seen one. Hopefully I can get there this week.

Anonymous said...

I live in NYC and bought a 2 tier tiffin container recently at the Butala Emporium in the "Curry Hill" section in Manhattan - East 28 Street and Park Avenue. There is also a website - I use it for my lunch salads which I bring from home and keep in the 'frig at work. Since it's stainless steel it should last forever and is a good start away from plastics.