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During the last year or so I have really started to become interested in cooking and on most weekends I can usually be found glued to the food channel catching up on cooking show omnibuses. I have always enjoyed cooking and I like to think of myself as a pretty decent cook but this year I have really started to invest in more equipment for my kitchen and for preparing cook in particular and now have loads of gadgets and gizmos some of which are handier than others. This Mezzaluna is something that I bought because I had seen it used loads on the TV and I wanted one because I thought it would make me look much more professional in the kitchen. To be completely honest I wasn't sure how often that I would actually use it as I tend to use more dried herbs and spices in my cooking rather than fresh ones but I wanted it regardless and as it wasn't overly expensive I decided to treat myself to it.
I love Nigella Lawson but I didn't buy it solely because her name was on it but more because when I was browsing Amazon it kept coming up and had loads of good reviews and I also thought it was a good price. I paid £10 for this which included delivery and I was happy to pay this for it based on the reviews and also because I had seen it a few weeks earlier on Amazon at a higher price.
The mezzaluna is basically a curved blade which has double handles on it so that you can use it to vigorously chop things in the kitchen. It is made from one solid piece of stainless steel so there are no joins on it and you don't have to worry about the handles snapping off. It is really solid and sturdy feeling without being too heavy to use and it feels reassuringly weighty in my hands when using it. The steel has a brushed satin finish to it so it looks really good and because it is made of stainless steel it can be used in the dishwasher with no problems or just washed in the sink with soapy water.
The blade is very sharp when it is new so you need to be careful when handling it. It does come in a plastic cover to protect your fingers when removing it from the box and I would recommend that you keep the plastic cover as it is a good way of storing the blade in drawers without accidentally cutting yourself on it when taking it out. I have had mine for a few months now and haven't needed to sharpen it yet as it is still really sharp but I would assume that you would just sharpen this as you would any other knife.
Using the mezzaluna takes a bit of getting used to as the rocking motion is very different to using a knife. After using it a few times though you soon get the hang of it and are chopping speedily to the point where it can actually look like it is a bit dangerous but in reality it is much safer than using a knife as even though it is fast and the blade is sharp because your fingers are wrapped around the handle you can't really cut them.
For cutting herbs this works amazingly well and is so quick. Although I was worried at first that I wouldn't use it all that often I have found that I use it more than I first imagined because I use it for loads of things that need to be chopped finely and not just for herbs. For example when I want garlic chopped I have used this instead of using the garlic press and the same with onions instead of putting them in the food processor. I also used it for chopping nuts for baking over Christmas. Really the list is endless for what you can use this to chop and it is so much easier than using a knife. It isn't designed for precision cutting but for chopping it is easier and more convenient to use this.
One thing that I would recommend is that you go and get a proper mezzaluna board as well as the blade as although you can use this perfectly fine with a normal chopping board it is much better used with a proper mezzaluna board that has the inside scooped out so that the blade fits perfectly in it.
I have been really happy with this purchase and would definitely recommend to all budding chefs out there. Not only does it really look the part it is also really enjoyable to use and does make chopping easier and much finer than with a knife.
A couple of years ago when my herb garden finally became mature enough to pick herbs and use them I realised I needed something to chop them with. Not really needed I suppose but wanted! A knife was taking too long and I didn't fancy using the cleaver so I got looking online for something to chop herbs with.
A mezzaluna is one or two curved blades with a handle at either end. The word mezzaluna means "half moon" in Italian which of course is like the shape of the blade. I have no idea why Amazon have spelt this meza luna and not mezzaluna but there we go, it's the same thing.
Once I'd established what I was searching for was called a mezzaluna I found Amazon was the best place to purchase one from. I debated on a double bladed one but dismissed it as over the top, I also wondered about one long enough to chop up pizza but realised we didn't really have anywhere to store one of that length so finally I settled on this Nigella Lawson mezzaluna.
This particular one costs £11.50 from Amazon and comes with a plastic case for the blade that has a press stud to keep the blade away from fingers rummaging in the drawer and dampness etc off the blade.
The blade itself is about 10 inches long and the handles at each end are sturdy solid stainless steel with a kind of satin finish so they look good too. On one side of the blade is Nigella's logo which is an N with some leaves around it and a cake which amused me! The blade is pretty sharp, you could cut yourself on it if you ran your fingers along it. All in all a solid and sturdy piece of equipment, there's no way you could break anything on it as it's a solid piece of stainless steel and it's quite heavy in your hands which makes it feel substantial and man enough for the job. So far so good.
I use herbs alot in the kitchen and you can't beat fresh herbs in preference to dried ones so the first time I used this I had a big bunch of herbs from the garden on my chopping board. To use this you position it over the herbs and roll it from side to side over them using the handles on each side until you've chopped all the herbs directly under the blade then you use the blade to gather the herbs up into a tidy bunch again and repeat this procedure until they are chopped as finely as you need them.
The blade went through the herbs with no trouble at all and any that got caught on the sides of the blade were easy to remove using a finger to wipe them off and I had the whole bunch done in a couple of minutes which is much, much quicker than using a knife.
I've used it on various chopping boards, we have a plastic one which it does mark but then so do knives and a marble one which it doesn't mark. I've used it on all sorts of herbs including bay leaves which are tougher than most others and it cuts through them with no problems. The blade is still sharp after lots of use but I think you could sharpen it using a Steel which is a knife sharpener.
To wash this you just drop it in the sink with everything else and then dry it thoroughly afterwards. I always store ours in the plastic case which keeps it safely away from my fingers if I'm rifling through the drawer and keeps the blade protected from anything else like, as I said earlier, dampness.
This mezzaluna looks as though I've never used it and in the summer I use it loads. At the end of the summer I pick the herbs in the garden and chop and dry them for winter use which used to take me ages but with this I can do the whole herb garden in half an hour and that's alot of herbs!
I'm very pleased with this and recommend it to anyone who regularly chops up herbs. I'm glad I picked this particular one too as there's nothing breakable on it and it looks and feels good while being very effective. Extremely pleased with the product and the price and highly recommend it.
A stainless steel mezzaluna, for chopping herbs and much more!