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It Makes the Rice Taste Good

Posted on January 27, 2010 by Debra


Those of you who follow me on twitter can vouch that I’ve been obsessed with magewappa bento and I spend way too many hours RT-ing photos and links to photos of other tweeter’s magewappa obento.

I find them beautiful and intriguing, but I didn’t fully understand…  why one would choose a wooden bento above other options?  I didn’t realize their potential until I purchased one for myself.

Before I made the “splurge” (yes,magewappa is spendy) I asked a magewappa twitter-er why they use a wooden box. The answer was a short and simple ” it makes the rice taste good”.  This concise reply wasn’t just because of Twitter’s message size restrictions.  It was the perfect response and it lay to rest my hesitation to invest in a magewappa of my very own.

“It makes the rice taste good”.  The words stuck in my mind while I waited for the package to arrive.  I had big plans on my new magewappa’s inaugural lunch. Besides rice…white rice… what other foods would be enhanced by the smooth and fragrant cedar wood? 

Before the day that the box arrived I went round and round on potential menus.  I visited and re-read Maki’s Just Bento article about magewappa a few more times.  Two weeks passed since delivery and I still hadn’t committed.

I persisted in viewing the daily magewappa bento photos on twitter.  And I continued to  gently remove  my new magewappa out of the carton to inspect it over and over again.  It sure smells nice and it’s amazingly lightweight.  I really wanted to pack an interesting bento— not just for taste,  but for the blog too.   And  you thought I was addicted to bentos before this,  holy smokes it’s now a full-on  obsession.  :)  

After the 10th time of  re-opening the box.  It dawned on me…the rice!  It’s all about the rice!

So I settled on doing a classic hinomaru bento…white rice with a juicy red umeboshi in the middle.  Nothing else.  A perfect choice for my first magewappa bento lunch.

hinomaru bento

It would be very cliché to end this article with … “and you know… it did make the rice taste good”… 

But it did, it really did!

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  1. 27 01 10 22:10

    Hinomaru and the Magewappa Bento – Bento Central

17 to “It Makes the Rice Taste Good”

  1. gamene says:

    ugh, i’m DROOLING over that box – it’s a work of art, a thing of beauty! and i love your classic inaugural use. this is making me want to go to bento & co and buy my own magewappa immediately (i haven’t taken the plunge yet)… you’re such an enabler ;-)

  2. Melanie says:

    That box is JUST beautiful. I will have to follow suit. lol!

  3. Blorgie1 says:

    I can almost smell the cedar and its evocative of so many good things. Red and white seems perfect for the magewappa’s maiden voyage! Enjoy! Can’t wait to see what other treasures it will carry.

  4. So when I order a wood bento box and my hubby asks why, I can blame you, right? ;) hehe

  5. bentobird says:

    This is so pure and beautiful! The magewappa bento box will be a perfect vehicle for your elementally refined bentos :) Can’t wait to see more in the weeks ahead!

  6. hapabento says:

    hehehe…Sorry friends… I’ve been tinkering with the post and I’m on about a dozen edits.

    Thanks for your kind comments.

  7. sheri says:

    You got one!!
    It’s a thing of beauty. Major congrats on taking the big step to “grownup” bento now. :D

  8. Susan says:

    That is a GORGEOUS box!!! BTW, you are encouraging and enabling other bento addicts out there to get one too. Great job! :D

  9. I’m like everyone else I love this bento and keep it simple with just rice is ok with sometimes.

    I have an award for you! Please stop by to collect it :)

  10. notabrownbag says:

    Its most definately a beauty….ugh…the obsession just gets worse!

  11. Lia Chen says:

    Pretty box! It looks simply elegant. The magewappa bento box will be on my list for another 2 years … I’m waiting until my girl go to junior high. It’s difficult to wait that long because you show how great this box is (^.^)

  12. Nicole O. says:

    I uploaded this NHK video that talks a bit about magewappa:

    does it work only if you put rice in there when it’s warm or hot, or does it work w/ cold rice too?

    I’d get a magewappa, but I’m worried about staining and warping >_<

    • hapabento says:

      Hi Nicole, I pack all my bento boxes with warm rice then, let cool before closing. I did the same with this magewappa. I think cold rice-straight from the fridge- would get hard. I know what you mean about staining and warping, but hopefully I’ll be able to take good care of this one.

  13. Do you know that why people put Umeboshi on the rice in Japan?
    It is not to make the rice taste better.
    It is to act as a natural preservative to keep the rice fresh.

    • hapabento says:

      Hi Soy sauce queen, Welcome and thanks for commenting. Yes, You’re correct about the role of umeboshi for bento.
      For this article, I was speaking to the ability of the mage wappa wooden bento box to keep the rice tasting better.

      Your point about the umeboshi acting as a preservative is an important tip for new bentoists to use safety precautions when packing bento boxes. Thanks for the reminder.

  14. green bento says:

    Hi, just saw this article today. I have been learning making bento and eyeing the magewappa for a while. A question I always have is that since the magewappa can’t be used in microwave, how to heat the food put in a magewappa? Or do you eat the food cold from refrigerator?

    • Debra says:

      Hi green bento! Welcome to our bento blog. Well, the idea of the classic bento is to pack a lunch that does not require refrigeration or reheating at all. For me, I never refrigerate my bentos unless it’s something perishable. That’s the only time I use a microwavable box for reheating. I hope that helps…I have written a short description about this idea on the bento basics page. Thanks!

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