In my house you know I am getting down to do some serious cooking when I break out my Mezza Luna (half moon knife) and large wood block cutting board. No skilled chef or kitchen should be without one. When I use it I cannot help but laugh while recounting the time I purchased my very own Mezza Luna during one of my lengthy stays in Liguria (beautiful Genoa, specifically) Italy. Some of the best cooking in the world happens there, and to claim to be a good cook and not have a mezza luna of my own would be a personal travesty. With a hunk of Parmigiano Reggiano, fresh focaccia, and my newly acquired Mezza Luna I was headed to my flight back to the Good Ole 'Stati Uniti'. My luggage was being searched by an agent, who held my new utensil up to me with a questioning look. I said "E una Mezza Luna" (in a 'no duh'-'ish yet respectable way). He looked at it, at me, and the passports of my children with their very Italian names and looks, and waved me on saying,"Va Bene Signora." (Very well Ma'am). I knew then that this young man's mamma and nonna working in the kitchen with their own Mezze Lune offered the promise of a delicious midday meal.
I don't think anyone with a mezza luna would be able to board a plane these days, but when it comes to cooking, the Italians understand priorities!