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

A mezzaluna (/ˌmɛtsəˈlnə/, Italian: [ˌmɛddzaˈluːna]) 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.[1] They most commonly have a single blade, but are sometimes seen with two or three blades.[2][3][4]

It is typically used for mincing herbs or garlic, but it can be used for chopping other things such as cheese or meat.[1] Very large single blade versions are sometimes used for pizza.[5] Common uses in Italy include preparation of a soffritto or a pesto, etc. In countries like Egypt, Jordan, and Palestine, it is used to chop mulukhiyah.


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), makhratah (from Arabic), and hokmesser (from Yiddish).

Cutting board

Mezzalunas may be found sold with a cutting board that has a shallow indentation in it,[1] marketed as a herb chopper.

See also

Media related to Mezzalunas at Wikimedia Commons


  1. ^ a b c "What is a Mezzaluna?". wiseGEEK. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  2. ^ McGee, Harold (26 October 2010). Keys to Good Cooking. Doubleday Canada. ISBN 9780385671309.
  3. ^ Willan, Anne (17 September 1989). La Varenne Pratique: Part 4, Baking, Preserving & Desserts. BookBaby. ISBN 9780991134632.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ Hesser, Amanda (2002). "TEST KITCHEN; A Half Moon That Brightens Kitchen Labors". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  5. ^ Wiener, Scott (8 December 2012). "A Brief History of the Pizza Slicer". Serious Eats. Scott's Pizza Chronicles. Retrieved 9 February 2013.
  6. ^ a b Schweitzer, Lisa (2 May 2011). "Kitchen Tool: Mezzaluna Picks". Food Republic. Gadget of the week. Retrieved 13 September 2013.