What Is A Mezzaluna Knife Used For?

By Ryan Leavitt •  Updated: 04/12/21 •  4 min read

The Mezzaluna is a kitchen tool that consists of one or more curved blades with a handle attached to each end. Rocked back and forth, this is used to chop vegetables, mince herbs, and cut pizza.

One of the most unique-looking knives ever made is the Mezzaluna which originates in Italy.
Roughly translated as ‘half moon’, the blades are thick crescents and outfitted with knob-like handles on each side.

Many modern Mezzalunas don’t have those gorgeous knob handles anymore and rarely will you find a three or four-blade one; but those which are available are just as effective in chopping food and cutting pizza.

The biggest criticism hurled towards this tool is that it isn’t really a ‘need’ in the kitchen and that a regular Chef’s knife can probably do its job.

But if you’re interested in owning one, read on and find out more about it.

What is it?

It is a special kind of knife that contains two or more blades for efficient cutting tasks.

The structure makes it look like a true ancient chopper.

If I tell you about my own experience with this, I want to share that when I first saw it, there was nothing in my mind that we can even call it a knife.

The double handle gives it a truly ancient look, however, the functionality is also amazing.

No matter what kind of chopping and cutting you want, you can use it right in your kitchen and even in the restaurant.

According to Wikipedia:

A mezzaluna is a knife consisting of one or more curved blades with a handle on each end, which is rocked back and forth chopping the ingredients below with each movement.

They most commonly have a single blade but are sometimes seen with two or three blades.

It is typically used for mincing herbs or garlic, but it can be used for chopping other things such as cheese or meat.

Very large single-blade versions are sometimes used for pizza.

Common uses in Italy include the preparation of a soffrito or a pesto, etc.

What is its origin?

This belongs of Italian origin and its major use was the fine and clear-cutting of the Italian pizzas.

But with time, its use has been expanding, and now it is also being used for gardening purposes and herb cutting purposes in the kitchen.

Moreover, it is commonly used in Italy for the cutting of Italian foods like pesto or soffritto.

What is it used for?

The word mezzaluna has the power to attract attention in the first place.

When I heard of this cutter for the first time, I immediately thought that it is something related to “lunar” or a moon.

And I was right!

The word mezzaluna literally means “half-moon”.

The reason for this is the shape of this one that looks like a half-moon.

In the UK, very few people are familiar with the name “mezzaluna”, instead, it is called the “half-moon blade” due to the curved shape of the blade.

What are its other names?

We have already discussed that it is also called the “half-moon knife“, however, it has some more names as well.

These include herb chopper and hokemesser.

The word hokemesser is derived from the Yiddish origin and is not now common.

The French people also call it hachoir.

So you can see that there are various names for this tool.

So when you hear about these other names, you should immediately understand that they are all the same.

Other interesting uses

You can use it for art and craft purposes.

If you have some basic knowledge about art and craft, you must know that the fine and clear-cutting of the fomic sheet is not easy.

Though many different types of scissors can play the role of a cutting tool, yet what I experienced is that you often cannot cut straight and need some heavy tool like it for this purpose.

I do not know what is the scope of using this knife in this kind of task, yet I personally found it a very useful and helpful tool for the artwork.

How much is it?

If you want to buy, you should not worry about the costs.

The cost varies from $10 to $200, so it is not a costly option for most people.

Final Verdict

Have you ever seen the mezzaluna knife?

If not, then you are missing a lot.

However, if you are well familiar with this knife, do not forget to share your thoughts and experiences with us.

Ryan Leavitt

Hi my name is Ryan Leavitt a Marine Corps Veteran and currently an over the road trucker (Long Haul). I am no expert chef but am enjoying preparing my own meals on the road and testing all the different knives.