When it comes to disposable food boxes, there is nothing more iconic than Chinese food containers. Despite being completely American, they have been always associated with Chinese cuisine from the beginning. They are easy to manufacture, convenient to use, and look attractive in shape. They have a Japanese-origami design and can be unfolded to a plate for a cheap and wonderful Chinese takeout dinner. There are several other facts associated with its origin that have been discovered recently. As their name indicates, people believe that they came from China, but in reality, it is an American invention. Let us have a closer look at the history and origin of these iconic boxes.
The evolution from the Oyster Pail:
The first version of Chinese food packaging was patented by Fredrick Weeks on 13th November 1894. His invention was initially known as a paper pail. It was made from a single construction of paper folded in a special way to make a leak-proof container. Weeks secured it by using a wire handle. The packaging evolved in design over time so much to make the present version of Chinese food boxes. It’s the reason that they are still referred to as oyster pails when discussed concerning origin.
The Rise of Chinese-American Food:
Chinese food started becoming popular in the mid-1800s with an increase in the number of Chinese immigrants who started settling in California during the Gold Rush. Over time, several restaurants were established featuring more Chinese cuisines than the Americanized fare that people know today. These Chinese restaurants offer two menus side by side: one was the traditional Chinese dishes and the other was catered according to American taste. As a result, American food became more popular over time and eventually evolved to what people think when they imagine Chinese Takeout.
Chinese Food and Paper Containers:
As Chinese food became popular in cities in the 1950s, restaurants started to sell it in paper containers. These sturdy, disposable food boxes played an important role in the growing popularity of Chinese takeout. Their flat surface makes it easy for the customers to slide the food into the plates. As Chinese food often contains sauces, so the practical and leak-proof design of a Chinese food box was ideal for such a type of serving. The containers used these days are created from solid bleached sulfate paperboard instead of traditional paper, keeping the basic design the same. You will find them in several takeout restaurants across the country. They continued to remain as convenient as ever, especially when they can be easily converted to your dinner plate anywhere anytime.
Chinese Food Containers are Truly American:
As mentioned earlier these Chinese containers with Japanese origami folds, is a truly American invention. They seem to be a little advance in the existing oyster pail technology. Their interesting features and practicality to use have made them popular throughout the world. A Chinese food box is nearly leak-proof, disposable, and inexpensive to make. According to the opinion of packaging experts, origami has made it a cool transport device. Its structure fits well to complement Eastern cuisine in western society. And the most interesting thing is that you will never see such sort of packaging in China!
Today, Chinese food containers are made in much the same way. However, the businesses use solid-bleached-sulfate paperboard with an internal poly coating layer making it grease- and leak-resistance. It is also microwave safe. Most of the Chinese food cartons use glue instead of wire to make environmentally friendly containers. The market for Chinese food boxes is increasing rapidly with does not seem unbound for extinction.
Interesting Facts about Chinese Food Boxes:
Chinese food containers are a wonderful invention. Their unique style and extraordinary features have given them much acceptance industry-wide. There are multiple reasons why these boxes are used for carrying food. Here are some of the interesting facts about Chinese food containers that you would love to know:
· They are stackable and prove to be a compact solution for storage
· Although their name indicates a relationship with Chinese food, yet they are suitable for all types of cuisines. You might see them in a variety of Asian and Western restaurants for efficient delivery of food.
· The boxes are convenient to use, easy to handle, and microwave safe. The presence of a wire handle at the top eliminates the use of additional packaging to carry the food safely.
· Another interesting fact about Chinese food boxes is that they can be easily converted to a plate anywhere any time you want. First, you have to remove the handle and search for the staple or the flap that holds the box firmly together. Grab it firmly from the side where the paperboard is glued and creased. Pull one side of the box or staple it apart to open the box. Spin the box on a flat surface and it will be converted to a plate.
· A Chinese food box is designed for a single construction of paper folded in an origami style to make a leak-proof container. It does not require a separate lid rather the lid comes out as the box is assembled. The full lid opening facilitates the customers to eat directly.
· The box is equipped with various features like poly coating or lamination to provide a barrier against heat, contamination, humidity, grease, and leakage. This makes it suitable for all types of food like hot, cold, wet, or dry.
· Chinese food packaging is made from 100% recyclable material that does not harm the environment or health.