Takenaka makes lunch boxes in the Japaneseist of Japanese ways, the Bento. What we know as the quick, little-of-everything, menu item on a Sushi restaurants midtown lunch special is a physical item in every Japanese citizens backpack. In a world where we’re continually evolving our healthy eating game, these Takenaka lunch boxes make carrying your homemade healthy snacks convenient and simultaniously mega stylish. Next time you pull up a seat at the communal table watch the envy sweep across your coworkers faces when you pull out this beauty. We just hope what you put inside is as impressive as the outside.
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When I first saw these I was mesmerized. The curves, the way they stack, the pure color, all of it transfixing my eyes even without food on the plates. Compostable, bamboo pulp and inexpensive are not the next words I expected to hear out of Michiyo Tanabe’s mouth when we chatted in her booth at the NY Gift Show. Aside from the unique aesthetics Wasara’s process is extremely refined and…well, good. Bamboo grows extremely fast, meaning it needs to be cut back often. That’s recycle #1. They also use bagasse, a by-product of making sugarcane juice. Most of the 100 million tons is discarded as waste. Michiyo and team uses some of this to soften the bamboo. That’s recycle #2. Finally, because it’s softer than wood pulp it uses less energy to produce the final product. So, use them to make you feel great about helping the planet or reduce waste or recycle materials. We use them because they are gorgeous.
It’s no surprise that we LOVE us some BBQ over at FTHQ. We’ve also had our bout with smokers. Wood fueled, electric, even gas powered and they all fell short. Part of the problem is that we’re impatient and good ‘que is a patient wo(man)’d game. The key, any pit master will tell you, is in the consistency. Sure, the wood, the meat and the rub all are critical BUT without consistency it all falls apart. Specifically we’re talking about temperature. The uber fail of most amateur pit masters is the fluctuation in heat as it relates to time. A 12 hour smoked pork butt fluctuating 100 degrees is better used to feed the dog than serve the family. That’s why the Char-Broil Digital Electric Smoker with SmartChef™ Technology got us so jazzed up. The electric smoker communicates with your phone letting you know the internal temperature of the meat and the chamber. This means you can do “other stuff” while smoking but never miss when you need to add more water, wood chips or heat. This will be in our backyard all summer. If you’re thinking about getting into (or back into) the bbq game, this is the move.
Let’s face it, we’ve all been making, or trying to make, a lot of bread. In San Francisco they are taping sourdough starter to street poles. No lie. This apocalypse looks different to us in so many ways but never did we think baking would be at the epicenter of a lockdown. Enter the Balmuda Toaster or oven or steamer. Yeah, we’re not sure either but it definitely makes you look amazing when toasting up a slice of that aforementioned sourdough. Brass tacks, this Japanese designed feat-of-engineering has possibly taken our most mundane cooking task and up-leveled it with some NASA grade innovation. A water port allows you to fill a steam reservoir inside the toaster’s Ferrari grade heater core. This steam cloud envelops your bread allowing a faster, crisp without drying out. Now that the moisture is sealed in your slice, the steam dissipates and the heat fires up a second time. This result is a pillowy soft inside with a crisp, golden, toasted bark of tasty. Need more. Gen Terao, the CEO, built in several other settings for bread baking and high heat if you want to go full oven. A simple knob with pictures of bread styles leaves little room for error, unlike your sourdough process. With a black or white option it will compliment any kitchen and frankly out shine anything else in it including you. Save up your shekels though, performance and beauty like this come at a cost. We hope you are getting great at baking because you might not be able to afford store bought bread for a while after Balmuda ownership. Don’t sweat it, we think we’re spending 2020 at home anyway.
Sometimes it rains on Memorial Day weekend. Sometimes it rains most of the summer. This is mother natures way of blessing the earth and replenishing life but it does deprive you from your weekly summer grilling rituals. If this summer turns soggy the Otto O.F.B. Steak Griller is your backup QB (Quick Burner). Fashioned after the commercial kitchen mainstay, the salamander, this broiler uses radiant heat to crisp up any protein to that perfect grill kissed aesthetic and texture. Pair this with a sous vide machine and you might ditch the grill all together.