Umbra about reviewing some of their kitchen related products on our blog. Howard and I have been admirers of Umbra products for a long time, we used to go to the factory sales to decorate our rooms in university! We still have a small collection of frames and knick-knacks that we use around the house and office.
Umbra sent us the Bento Cut & Prep to try out. Like a bento box, it's a large plastic pan with compartments nested inside.
The design of the Bento Cut & Prep is simple and rather useful, however, we understand that most people may be uncomfortable with the extra height and it can only be used for lighter prep work. We wouldn't recommend it for heavy chopping (for instance, watermelon slicing or meat items). However, it would be useful for prepping easy meals (especially for kids) where all the ingredients are ready for the choosing. We suggest using the Bento for do-it-yourself meals where your eaters get to choose the pizza toppings, taco fillings, or ice cream sundae toppings they want. Or, put out healthy snacks and use the Bento as veggie and fruit platters.
We also wished it came with instructions for how to take care of bamboo cutting boards. We love that bamboo is environmentally friendly, and after doing some quick research, we found that you need to use mineral oil to help preserve the natural oils and prevent the fibers of the bamboo from drying out. You should also never soak or place your cutting board in the dishwasher to clean it!
Disclaimer: Umbra sent us two Bento Cut & Prep Sets for review. The first one we found various splinters on the bamboo board and deemed it unsafe for food contact. After inquiring with Umbra, they checked with their quality control team and pulled the item to see if there were any issues. There were no problems so we believe it was a one off. They sent us a second sample to replace the damaged one.