When I was a kid going to school, I hated lunches. That is because I never really liked cold food. Whatever my mother would pack didn’t stay warm long enough and by the time lunch came around, it was cold lunches all around. Fortunately, I went to school at a campus which allowed kids to go home for lunch (our High School was within the campus of a major University) and many of the kids whose parents worked at the University, did.
Due to the largess of a good many of my classmates (Anurag, Nitin, Ashish, Venu among others), I sometimes was able to mooch a warm lunch off of them by going to their houses to eat. So when it came time for us to start sending lunches for our kids, I really wanted to do right by them and not have them face the ignominy of cold lunches.
Being cheap Desis (financially frugal people of South-east Asian origin), we first bought the plastic, insulated containers that you can find at most stores. Despite all their claims, they simply do not work. We even tried preheating the containers using boiling water as advocated by one blogger, but no cigar. The food stayed at room temperature.
Salvation came in the form of my neighbor. She too, had faced the same problem and had invested in the stainless steel, vacuum-sealed Thermos. She claimed that it worked very well. So, despite the fact that it costs enough to feed a family of four in sub-saharan Africa for a week (I am only partly joking – these things are expensive at about $19/jar) I bought one to see if it works before getting another one for my other kid.
Sent pasta the first time and my younger daughter told me that when she took a bite at lunch, it caught her completely by surprise. It was still piping hot. In fact, when I tasted the remnants at the end of the day (this is over eight hours after the lunch was packed) the pasta was still warm! Needless to say, I went and bought another one for my older kid.
BTW, I believe there are other manufacturers that have a similar product too – Stanley, Zojirushi etc. A link to the product that I am talking about is here. It is not often that one comes across a product that exceeds one’s expectation, this Thermos product sure did for me. So if you are someone who is looking for a solution to the problem of keeping food hot or cold for an extended period of time, look into this.