[Welcome to Grant, a long-time reader, who is trying on the editor/writer position hat for size this week. Feel free to comment away, and let us know how you feel about Grant joining the team!]
I became obsessed with acquiring a mezzaluna after watching Nigella Bites on the Style Network several years ago.
If a particular recipe called for, say, tarragon, she'd pick up a mezzaluna, explaining that she's rather clumsy with cutlery and using a mezzaluna lessened the possibility of nicking herself whilst chopping (Nigella uses words like whilst).
A mezzaluna, which means half moon in Italian, is a crescent shaped knife with small, knob-like handles at each end. Nigella made the mezzaluna look fun, easy and safe. I realized that I would not be able to function as a cook unless I, too, had a mezzaluna.
Lucky for me, Nigella happened to be selling a Mezzaluna on her website. I ordered one and upon its arrival opened it like a child on Christmas morning. I pulled out a bunch of parsley and got rocking and chopping. It was just as fun as Nigella had made it look. However a realization quickly set in: using the mezzaluna felt a little unwieldy, a little out of control, not very precise. Parsley was flying everywhere and my cutting board became stained green.
In the end, the mezzaluna wound up getting squirreled away in a drawer in favor of my trusty Henkels 4 star Sankotu knife. Sorry, Nigella.
Fantes.com carries a variety of mezzaluna, including Nigella's ($21.99), priced from $7.99 to $39.99