Mezzaluna, which, in Italian language stands for half moon, is a special type of knife. It is called as such because of its curved blade. Mezzaluna can either be single-bladed or double-bladed. The single-bladed mezzaluna is usually used for pastries and pizzas, while the double-bladed type is perfect for mincing and chopping different kinds of ingredients. Mezzaluna has handles on both ends, which allow the user to rock the knife side by side. This type of knife is pretty tricky to use, but when you become familiar with it, you will use it more than you use ordinary knives. Here’s a guide on how to properly use a mezzaluna.
- Prepare the ingredients. Mezzaluna is often used to mince and chop onions, garlic cloves, carrots, and herbs. But a lot of other ingredients will come out fine when chopped with mezzaluna. You can use it for nuts, dried fruits, and even meats. Make sure to cut the large ingredients first so that the mezzaluna will have a better time mincing.
- Look for a compatible chopping board. Ideally, mezzaluna should be used with a curved-in chopping board. The hollow in the chopping board will accommodate the crescent-shaped blade, making it easier for you to chop or mince. Mezzaluna usually is purchased with a hollow chopping board. But if your knife didn’t come with a board, you can buy one at kitchen supply stores. In any case, a flat chopping board will do fine, although it is not as compatible as the hollow chopping board.
- Start the mincing process. Place a good amount of ingredients on the chopping board. When you are ready, hold the handles of the knife with both hands. Then gently rock the knife side by side. Do it slow the first time, so you can carefully observe how the knife does its job. This will also give you more control of the knife. Then try to increase your speed as you progress while taking note how the change in speed affects the output. If, however, you are not yet comfortable increasing your speed, it is okay to rock the knife a bit slower than usual.
- Remove the particles from the knife blade. Take note that bits of ingredients will stick to the blade of the knife. If your knife is single-bladed, it is safe to remove the particles by hand. But if yours is double-bladed, use a skewer or chopstick. Dislodge all the particles as often as necessary.
- Clean the knife. Hand-wash the mezzaluna after use. But remember to be very careful to prevent injuring yourself. Put the knife back into the sleeve that came with the kit. Store it together with your other kitchen utensils.
Some mezzalunas only have one handle, but they are used in the same way
double-handle mezzalunas are used. But whatever type you own, remember
to practice caution when using the knife. Mezzaluna blade is super sharp
and can easily nick your skin. It is best to practice with the knife
before using it on a regular basis.