I know it's been a while since I last posted. Unfortunately, life and the south Florida heat have gotten in the way of my blogging and gardening. But I recently came across this great new product that I just have to mention. It's called a tiffin and, while a lot of us have never heard of them before, tiffins are nothing more than eco-friendly, sustainable lunch boxes to go. According to Wikipedia, the word "tiffin" means lunch, or any light meal. It originated in British India, and is today found primarily in Indian English. The word originated when Indian custom superseded the British practice of an afternoon dinner, leading to a new word for the afternoon meal. It is derived from the obsolete English slang "tiffing" for "taking a little drink or sip." When used for "lunch," it is not necessarily a light meal. Notably, it is used in the name of Mavalli Tiffin Room.
In South India and in Nepal, the term is generally used for between-meal snacks: dosas, idlis, etc. Outside South India, like Mumbai, the word mostly refers to any packed lunch, often light lunches prepared for working Indian men by their wives after they have left for work, or for schoolchildren by their parents. It is often forwarded to them by dabbawalas, sometimes known as tiffin wallahs, who use a complex system to get thousands of tiffin-boxes to their destinations.
Tiffin often consists of rice, dal, curry, vegetables, chapathis or "spicy meats." In addition, the lunch boxes are themselves called tiffin carriers, tiffin-boxes or sometimes tiffins.