Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Cherry Pitter and How I Learned to Love Cherries

The Cherry Pitter and the Joy of Cutting Up Cherries

Before the cherry pitter, I rarely ate cherries. The thought of popping them in my mouth, and then spitting out the pit never appealed to me. Without the pit, thanks to the pitter, cherries are enjoyable. I’ve often wonder if it is less the mechanics of spitting out a pit and really some taste profile imparted by the pit in my mouth (even if for only a few seconds). The bitter almond flavor of cherry (and other fruits of the Prunus genus like peach and apricot) pits is called noyaux. Some say: cherry pits, eaters beware. Others say: don’t worry so much. The noyaux flavor comes about by some combination of cooking, steeping and smashing up of the pits. Crème di noyaux is used in few classic cocktails such as the Pink Squirrel. (I must get out more and see the world because I’ve never heard of this drink before searching for information about noyaux.) The other, more culinary-savvy half of Travelmarx posits it probably doesn’t have anything to do with pit flavor, but rather the part of the fruit that attaches to the pit which might be slightly more astringent and you get more of that when you don’t remove the pit. Whatever the reason - and even if it is all in my head (or mouth as it were) - it’s a shame, especially in the Northwest, not to be able to enjoy cherries when they are in season.

Punching Out the Pits


  1. I grew up pitting cherries with that same kind of pitter. We had a 30 year old tree in my backyard that I was in almost everyday. We would pit them and then freeze them and eat them frozen on hot summer days. Then My brother and I would use the pits for our slingshot fights.

  2. I like the idea of freezing them and eating them cold. Will try that. Thanks!

  3. OMG. I MUST get a cherry pitter! does it work for olives? it's so hard to find pitted olives here in CH...

  4. I would image there is something for olives. Good luck WD in CH.

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