These handmade donabe steam pots are produced by Nagatanien in the the city of Iga. Many consider Iga to be the center of Japanese ceramic, and clay from this region has extremely unique properties. The advantages of their clay comes from the fact that the region was once at the bottom of Lake Biwa, and years of aquatic life infused the clay with large amounts of organic matter that create air pockets when fired. These air pockets allow the clay to breath and retain heat better than any other pots. 'Donabe' in Japanese literally means 'earthenware pot'. This Donabe pot is made by Nagatanien, located in the city of Iga, Japan. Clay from Iga is known to withstand extremely high heat without cracking, allowing this pot to be used on an open flame. 'Donabe' pots are commonly used to cook 'nabemono', known as one-pot dishes where vegetables with accompanying ingredients like tofu, cold, salmon or chicken are cooked together in a rich broth.