Mezzaluna literally means “half-moon” in Italian, which is obviously a reference to its curved blade. This is one classic cook’s tool that can look a bit medieval and isn’t found in every household. It’s a type of knife with either one or two curved stainless steel blades and a handle at each end. It’s great for chopping herbs, chocolate, and nuts. And of course, the mezzaluna’s popularity has risen of late due to America’s fascination with chopped salads, most of which are chopped with—you guessed it—a mezzaluna.

The mezzaluna is surprisingly easy to use. You just rock it back and forth to quickly mince whatever food you’re working with. Some even come with a wooden cutting board that has a slight bowl indentation, making the task even easier.

Choose your weapon:

For the first-time user who loves a classic:

Williams Sonoma Double Mezzaluna, $38;
This wooden-handled tool has twin 5 ½-inch blades and looks like a workhorse. As a bonus, it will only get better with age.

For the proficient cook who wants a little flash:

J.A. Henckles 2-Piece Mezzaluna Set, $35;
Chopped salad fanatics will choose this one-handed incarnation of the mezzaluna, which comes with an eight-inch square wooden cutting board with a depressed bowl.

For the gadget guru:

Wusthof Double Handle 9” Mezzaluna, $54.95;
The biggest, most badass guy here, German knife expert Wusthof comes to the table with a blade made from nine inches of high-carbon, laser-cut steel. Because size matters.

What do you use a mezzaluna to chop? Tell us about it in the comments.

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