Our exclusive handmade Odate Magewappa Bento Boxes are without a doubt our most popular wood bentos. However, we often have customers reach out to us, concerned that their new box is fragile and that they will not be able to properly maintain their precious cedar wood box.
Have no fear- we're here to help!
Let's first take a closer look at the famous Magewappa 'bent wood' bento style.
So what is Magewappa?
Magewappa can be literally translated to 'bent woodware' in Japanese. Hailing from the forested region of Odate in Akita prefecture, magewappa handicrafts are made by steaming, bending and stitching together thin strips of cedar wood to make one of a kind items like bento boxes, cups and serving trays. The process takes year of practice to master, and the craftsmen that make our boxes report that, on average, only one out of five boxes they make are perfect enough to be sold. The cedar wood from Odate is famous for its beautiful uniform grain, and less than 10% of saplings planted are typically found to be suitable for magewappa products.
The cedar naturally 'breathes' and has a wonderful aroma, which prevents moisture from become trapped in your box and gives your food a unique, pleasing taste.
I want one! How do I use a Magewappa Bento Box?
There are three simple rules you should consider when using a magewappa bento box:
1) Wipe the inner surface of the bento with a damp cloth (with water or a light oil) before packing food into the box. This helps prevent food from sticking to the wood.
2) Wash the box as soon as possible after eating. This will help prevent spots (from food residues) from forming on the inner surface of the bento. If you are unable to wash the box immediately, you should at least empty any uneaten food bits out of the box and then wash it with warm water when you get home.
3) Use the bento box frequently! The regular process of packing, washing and drying your magewappa box will keep the wood in good condition and reduce the likelihood of it becoming damp, dusty or warped from unideal storage conditions.
Ok, I can do that! So how do I wash and care for my bento?
- To wash your magewappa bento, simply fill the inside of the bento with lukewarm water and allow it to sit for 5 to 10 minutes (do not let the box soak for prolonged periods).
- Then, empty the water and wipe all sides of the bento and lid with a soft sponge and a mild dish detergent. Rinse the box and wipe with a soft dry cloth.
- After, allow the box to air dry in a well-ventilated place away from sunlight.
- When transporting the box, we recommend wrapping and carrying it in a traditional furoshiki wrapping cloth to protect its beautiful outer surface from scratches and dents.
Magewappa bento boxes cannot be used in the microwave or dishwasher. The natural wood is very sensitive to heat and can thus become warped or burnt if exposed to high temperatures. Please warm food contents without the box.
And that's it! Now let's enjoy eating with an elegant, handcrafted Magewappa bento box!