Ever since we moved to San Diego, we’ve been buying most of our food from the farmers’ market right by our place every Saturday. It’s kind of fun and also good since we never took advantage of the farmers’ market when we lived in Brooklyn.
The other day at the farmers’ market I saw a lot of beets, and I realized that I’ve actually never cooked beets before. I was kind of surprised that it took this long to try cooking this super colorful food.
Its beautiful red/purple color reminded me of the background of Beat Sneak Bandit, the iOS game we’ve been playing since we got an iPad in March. So I decided to make food based on Beat Sneak Bandit using beets. Or should I call it Beet Sneak Bandit? Get it? haha. Oh it’s so silly…
This looks like job for…
Non-bento #46: Beat Sneak Bandit beet soup
Created and eaten on: 5/20/2012
Beat Sneak Bandit is a stylish and colorful puzzle rhythm game by Simogo. Simogo is run by two awesome guys, Simon Flesser and Magnus ‘Gordon’ Gardebäck. They also worked on one of our other favorite games, ilomilo!
In the game, you’re a sneaky Bandit and you move with the rhythm to steal back the clocks stolen by Duke Clockface without being detected.
The game is very colorful, perhaps a bit too colorful for a bento. Not to mention that my bento skills have gotten rusty. Besides, this was my first time cooking beets, so I wanted to try something easy like beet soup. Then while I was looking at game images for inspiration, I noticed that the background of the app icon for the Beat Sneak Bandit was very much like the color of beets.
Conveniently, I had two square bowls. At the time we were using them for our cactuses instead of for food. I took the bowls out, washed them well and voila, I had iOS app icon shaped bowls!
I washed the beets, drizzled them with olive oil, wrapped them with tin foil, and roasted them. When the beets became soft, I took them out of the oven and let them cool down. Once they were cool to the touch, I peeled the skin, chopped them up, mixed with seasoning & veggie stock, pureed and was done! I put the soup in the fridge and started working on the actual characters.
The characters for the soup were, the Bandit, Herbie (the sneaky frog) and the Clock.
After I drew a sketch, I decided based on color which parts would be made with which food.
Orangish yellow (Bandit’s hair) – Cheddar cheese singles
Off white (Bandit’s skin) – American cheese singles
White (eyes, Herbie’s clothes) – radish
Skin tone (Bandit’s nose) – ham
Green (Herbie’s face, hands and legs) – broccoli stem
Red (Bandit’s shirt, Ribbon on the clock) – red pepper
Black (Bandit’s clothes, ear, mouth and outlines for Bandit’s fingers, Herbie’s clothes, boots, glasses and clock) – seaweed
I started by tracing the original sketch on a piece of parchment paper, one sheet for each layer. Then using the cut out pieces of parchment paper as a guide I cut the food with an exacto knife.
Cutting seaweed is tedious but not difficult. All you need is a sharp exacto knife and a nice cutting mat. I bought my cutting mat when I made the Jeremy Brautman sandwich and now I can’t live without it. I wish I had it when I did Shadow of the Colossus grilled cheese and the bento and gomoku-sushi of Okamiden.
I finished the seaweed pieces first, and sandwiched them in a paper towel. Then I cut out the pieces of cheese, put them back in the original plastic packaging and kept them the fridge. The veggies were cut right before I assembled so they wouldn’t dry out.
My main concern was the density of the soup.
The beet soup was pretty thick. But I didn’t know if the character was too heavy or not. I even thought of putting each character on a slice of a baguette and putting it on the soup. But I felt like it wouldn’t look as nice as putting a character directly onto the bright colored soup.
After thinking about it for a while, the impatient part of my brain (which is a pretty big part of my brain) said “Oh screw it.”
I asked Derek to get ready with the camera as I placed each layer.
First to go on the soup was the Bandit.
…but the soup quickly started to seep around the edges of the food.
As Derek shot photos of the Bandit, I quickly got ready another bowl of soup with Herbie & the Clock.
The characters were flat, so it might not be that impressive to see the characters from different angles, but you can see how quickly beets can dye food.
- You can put stuff on beet soup and it probably won’t sink.
- Beets are super yummy.
- Beets can dye food easily and SUPER FAST.
I’ve always used purple cabbage juice + a drop of vinegar to naturally dye food pink, but now I know that I can use beets as well.
Overall, even with some slight discoloring around the edge of each character, I am pretty happy with it. I LOVE the color and the simple & stylish design of the characters was a delight to work with. I can assure you that this won’t be the last time I make food based on Simogo creations.
Oh and if you’re wondering what “cheese with seaweed” tastes like, it doesn’t taste weird. Seaweed just adds flavor like basil or oregano does.
Anyway, Beat Sneak Bandit is so addictive, and both the graphics and music are so good that anyone can play and enjoy it. But I must tell you, the more stages you clear, the harder it’ll get to steal all the clocks. But that makes this game so much more than just a cute rhythm game.
I just heard that Simon and Gordon are starting work on their new game, and I already can’t wait to see what they will create next. I mean, the next game has to be REALLY AWESOME to top their old awesome games, right?
For more pictures of my bento, visit Bento and non-bento! set and Bento details! set on my flickr page. (On the photos in the “Bento and non-bento!” set on my flickr, you can see the notes on the food explaining what they are.)