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Do you use a mezzaluna?

k
Kagey Nov 10, 2006 11:24 AM

I was thinking of posting this on the "useless clutter" thread, but I'm not sure yet.

I got a mezzaluna as a gift recently, and used it to chop some parsley and garlic. It worked ok, but I still felt I could do better and faster with a knife. I also felt a bit awkward with the way it moves. It also seemed quite sharp, but still the parsley looked kind of crushed, and not as cleanly chopped as when I use the knife.

I'm not giving up yet. But I wonder if any of you hounds use a mezzaluna, and why you might or might not prefer it in some situations...

Thanks!

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  1. BobB RE: Kagey Nov 10, 2006 02:44 PM

    I do not use one myself, but my mother did. Her secret was to use a wooden bowl with about the same curve as the blade. It enabled her to do a sort of combination chopping-scraping move that was very effective for making things like chopped liver.

    1. potterstreet RE: Kagey Nov 10, 2006 02:47 PM

      I have tried a dozen times. I keep watching Nigella use one like a pro, but I can't get the hang of it. Give me a good sharp knife any day of the week.

      1. Jacquilynne RE: Kagey Nov 10, 2006 05:22 PM

        I got one as a gift, and I was totally excited, since I'd really wanted on. I use is rarely, and am incredibly frustrated when I do. It doesn't chop well, and stuff gets stuck up between the two blades all the time.

        1. s
          Seattle Rose RE: Kagey Nov 10, 2006 08:54 PM

          I have one, but never use it. I used it a few times, but found I could do a better job with my chef's knife. I should say that the one I have is a double-bladed version. The herbs tended to get stuck between the blades. Bought it on sale . . . .

          1. Robert Lauriston RE: Kagey Nov 10, 2006 09:57 PM

            Do I *have* one, yes. Single-blade, with a matching bowl, got for a dollar at a garage sale or free from someone who was moving or something.

            Do I *use* it, very rarely. It's good for certain things but not enough better than a chef's knife and flat board on the one hand or a food processor on the other that I'd buy one.

            1. t
              TapasBoy RE: Kagey Nov 10, 2006 10:01 PM

              I bought one in Venice which came with a wooden cutting board with a slight bowl-like indentation in the center, and it works really well. You have to have patience and keep pushing the herbs back through the center, but for parsley, basil, or cilantro, there is nothing like it.

              1. s
                silverlakelisa RE: Kagey Nov 10, 2006 11:43 PM

                I love my mezzaluna -- I got it as a gift for Christmas last year, and it's made by a company in Alaska and comes with the chopping bowl/board.

                It's best for chopping herbs and garlic. If you have to chop 10-12 cloves of garlic and you want it to go fast, you can just throw them all in there and cut vertically, horizontally and diagonally until they are finely minced.

                It also works great when you're chopping different kinds of herbs and garlic together, because it blends it all together while you're cutting it.

                I think the best part is that you don't have to hold whatever you're chopping, so you can chop faster and there's no chance of cutting yourself. The bowl also catches everything quite nicely, and keeps it all in the same place.

                I use mine very frequently and would definitely recommend it. I do think that, like knives, the quality will make all the difference -- I've seen them for sale at Ikea but I'm sure those are really dull. Just invest in a nice one (I think mine was about $30 or $40) and it will work very well.

                1. s
                  silverlakelisa RE: Kagey Nov 10, 2006 11:46 PM

                  This is the one that I have and love: http://www.theulufactory.com/blade_bl...

                  1. m
                    MakingSense RE: Kagey Nov 11, 2006 03:58 AM

                    I have a single-blade, double-handled Italian mezzaluna that I adore. It is about 10 inches wide and I use it on a flat cutting board to make short work of herbs or garlic. I can mince them fine in a flash without the tearing of the food processor.
                    I like it because it rocks back and forth and I can constantly change directions without picking it up from the surface.
                    It was a little hard to get the hang of it at first but now it's a snap.

                    1. shana RE: Kagey Nov 13, 2006 02:51 PM

                      I love mine for parsley and herbs - but I too have a matching cutting board that have and bowl like dent in the middle using it on a regular cutting board just doesn't work.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: shana
                        k
                        Kelli2006 RE: shana Nov 14, 2006 08:50 PM

                        I have a single bladed mezzaluna that I will occasionally use for mincing herbs, but it isn't something that I have much expertise at.
                        I once worked with a woman who could put a Cuisinart to shame with her Mezzaluna skills. She could use 2x double-bladed mezza's to make pesto at a rate that even a FP couldn't match.

                      2. sivyaleah RE: Kagey Nov 15, 2006 02:02 PM

                        While I don't have one now - growing up my mom did and we used it for making egg salad religiously. Our family preferred it minced very fine and the mezzaluna did the perfect job of slicing the egg into miniature pieces without crushing them into sloppy bits. It was used in a sloped bowl, which made the task quite easy.

                        I never got around to buying one only because I can't seem to find one as good as the one I remember from my childhood. Recently, I noticed my grandmother's in her utensil drawer that I know she uses daily for making salad - it looks exactly like what I need but, alas, I'll have to wait until she's "on her journey" as she calls it, before I can pluck it from her possession!

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