(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )
There are very few things I've avoided cooking in my life. Cherry pie is one of them. I'm definitely not a canned filling kind of person, frozen cherries just never seem sweet enough, and I cannot stand single-purpose kitchen gadgets like, say, cherry-pitters. The combination of those three factors has, until now, left me cherry pie-less.

But wait: why have I been so unfair to the innocent cherry pitter?

Well, those days are over. My feelings changed dramatically on our trip to Italy last month when I encountered a wild cherry trip up the road from where we were staying and I was faced with kilos of cherries and one dull paring knife.

The hunt for a cherry pitter began and ended rather quickly in a cookware shop near the stadium parking lot in Siena. Overjoyed, I bought my new gadget for 8 Euro (about $11 US). It's quite similar to the Leifheit Cherry Pitter available from Amazon below.

Sure, it took about 45 minutes to pit enough cherries for one pie, but with good conversation and a glass of wine, the time passes quickly. It's the Italian way.

Cherry pitters will also pit an olive. Do you know any other uses for cherry pitters?

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )
Here are three recommended cherry pitters:
  • OXO Cherry Pitter: (left) I've tried this one a few times. It works perfectly. I'm not a huge fan of the removable splatter shield (too much gadget!) but at least it comes off. ($13, Sur La Table and Williams Sonoma)
  • Leifheit Pro Pro-Line Cherry Pitter: (center) This is the most basic design: heavy-weight, chrome-plated, locks (so as not to tangle your already tangled gadget-drawer) and effective. Getting the rhythm down took a few rounds, but eventually I was able to knock out about one cherry per second. ($10.95, Amazon.com)
  • Old Fashioned Cherry Pitter: (right) For "restaurant-style high speed and volume" but not picture-perfect cherries, this clamp-on pitter — from one of my favorite catalogs ever — is for you if you are a serial cherry pie-ist and want to put $73 toward the problem. I've seen this in action on an Amish farm and it definitely gets the job done. ($72.95, Lehman's Non-Electric Catalog)

Related: No Cherry Pitter? Use a Pastry Tip