NOTE: This article contains images from the US patent archive.Complete patent documents are linked in the caption following each photo.
In the world of food gadgetry, no piece of gear is more iconic than the pizza slicer. The mere sight of a circular blade cradled in a handle holds no mystery as to its use, however the story of its evolution is far more layered. The concept of serving pizza by the slice is fairly new (post-WWII) but the genetic material for the contemporary circular pizza blade can be found scattered across the past three centuries.
Originally available in small sizes with either a single or double blade, the mezzaluna was initially intended for vegetable and herb chopping. Pizzerias in the Midwest now employ larger versions to cut both thick and cracker-thin pizzas quickly and evenly. While it may not be as popular as its wheeled counterpart, the mezzaluna certainly predates it. The image above shows a modern version of the mezzaluna used for cutting deep dish pizza, a style which didn’t emerge until the 1940s. The task of splitting such a thick product is obviously a job smaller tools aren’t cut out for.