Taking Inventory: Bowl

Souped Up

Feeling peckish? There are loads of things to eat in Minecraft – steaks, chicken and fish for meat eaters, and carrots, stew and bread for vegetarians. Most of those things can just be eaten with your hands, but have you ever tried to eat stew with your hands? Hold on, I’m gonna go try it, BRB.

OK back. Yuck. Not only am I now covered in stew and still hungry because most of the stew ran through my fingers, but I also have scalded hands because the stew was very hot. I could have avoided all this if only I’d used our item of the week – the saviour of many a mealtime, the stew-holder extraordinaire, the curvy king of food receptacles – the humble bowl.

Bowls were added to Minecraft in January 2010. Originally they could only be used to craft mushroom stew, but in version 1.0.0 it also became possible to use them to milk mooshrooms for additional mushroom stew, and then subsequently to craft rabbit stew and beetroot soup. If you really hate bowls, then you can also burn them in a furnace as fuel.

Making a bowl is very easy – three planks of any kind, arranged in a bowl shape in a crafting grid, turns into four bowls – enough for loads of stew. You can also “catch” bowls while fishing, and a poor turtle who’s hit by lightning will also occasionally turn into a bowl. Sad times.

In the real world, bowls are made of more than just wood. They come in ceramic, metal, plastic and other forms too. We’ve been making them for thousands of years, so we’re pretty good at it these days – the oldest bowl discovered during archaeological digs is about 18,000 years old – which was about the peak of the last ice age. Maybe they were eating ice cream out of it?

I’m gonna guess that the majority of people reading this article come from a culture where you get a bowl for yourself when you eat. But lots of other cultures around the world prefer to share one big bowl – and there are often strict rules around it. In Zimbabwe, you’re only supposed to eat with your right hand. In China, you’re not allowed to use your own chopsticks to pick up food from communal bowls.

So next time you’re chowing down on beetroot soup in Minecraft, consider offering some to your friends. Sharing is caring, after all. They’ll be bowled over by your generosity!

Written by
Duncan Geere
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