A mezzaluna (/ˌmɛtsəˈlnə/; Italian: [ˌmɛddzaˈluːna]) is a knife consisting of one or more[1] curved blades with a handle on each end, which is rocked back and forth chopping the ingredients below with each movement.[2] They most commonly have a single blade, but are sometimes seen with two or three blades.[3][4][5]

Mezzaluna with a single blade
Mezzaluna with a double blade used for chopping herbs
Mezzaluna with a triple blade used for cutting meat

It is typically used for mincing herbs or garlic, but it can be used for chopping other things such as cheese or meat.[2] Very large single blade versions are sometimes used for pizza.[1] Common uses in Italy include preparation of a soffritto or a pesto, etc.


Mezzaluna means "half moon" in Italian,[6] after the curved shape of the blade,[6] and is the most common name used in the UK. Other names used include herb chopper, hachoir [aʃ.waʁ] (from French) and hokmesser (from Yiddish).

Cutting board

Mezzalunas may be found sold with a cutting board that has a shallow indentation in it,[2] marketed as a herb chopper.

See also


  1. Wiener, Scott (December 8, 2012). "A Brief History of the Pizza Slicer". Serious Eats. Scott's Pizza Chronicles. Retrieved February 9, 2013.
  2. "What is a Mezzaluna?". wiseGEEK. Retrieved 2013-09-13.
  3. McGee, Harold (2010-10-26). Keys to Good Cooking. Doubleday Canada. ISBN 9780385671309.
  4. Willan, Anne (1989-09-17). La Varenne Pratique: Part 4, Baking, Preserving & Desserts. BookBaby. ISBN 9780991134632.
  5. Hesser, Amanda (2002). "TEST KITCHEN; A Half Moon That Brightens Kitchen Labors". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
  6. Schweitzer, Lisa. "Kitchen Tool: Mezzaluna Picks". Food Republic. Gadget of the week. Retrieved 2013-09-13.
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