by Kate Heyhoe
By the light of the mezzaluna moon...
In my book Cooking with Kids for Dummies, I devote a chapter to kid-friendly tools. One type of cutting tool I enjoy using myself and also recommend for kids is a tool known as a mezzaluna, meaning half-moon in Italian.
The mezzaluna (MET-zah-LOO-nah) has a curved blade, perfect for rocking back and forth to swiftly chop and mince. Some mezzalunas have a solid handle across the top to use with one hand, but I prefer the two-handed model made by Wüsthof-Trident when cooking with kids. It has a knobby handle on each end, forcing the cook to keep both hands above the blade. Grasp a handle in each hand and rock the blade back and forth to chop or mince. With both hands grasping a handle, big and little fingers can't get caught under the blade, as they can with a knife.
Mezzalunas come in various sizes, but the short 6-inch blade fits little hands especially well. Adults may prefer the 8 or 9 inch blade, and if no kids are in the kitchen, the one-handed model. Suggested retail prices run from $40 to $60, but you can find these mezzalunas starting at $25 in cutlery and kitchen catalogs, mail order and online.
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Copyright © 1998, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.
This page created 1998 and modified November 2006.