Works Well: Rocking and rolling still makes sense
Production chefs reach for their mezzalunas for a fast-acting chopper with no moving parts. Home chefs are turning to them, too.
A mezzaluna, also known as a crescent cutter, is a curved steel chopping blade or two. The early versions had wooden handles on both ends to enable fast chopping with a rocking motion. Modern models feature two blades with single or double handles.
Mezzaluna in Italian means half moon for the shape of the blade. It is also known as the French hachoir.
Rocking back and forth, the choppers make quick work of herbs, onion, mushrooms and soft vegetables. They often are sold with a wooden cutting board containing a round indentation that fits the knife.
Mezzalunas were popular before the advent of food processors as a quick way to chop with little cleanup. This makes them a viable kitchen utensil even today.
Double-knife sets with wooden cutting boards start at about $15 in kitchen-utensil departments. Single-knife, single-handle cutters start at around $10. Quality names are J.A. Henckels, Pedrini, Typhoon (illustration) and Wusthof.