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Pitting Cherries Is Child's Play

The bees' knees for pitting cherries. (Julia Ewan -- The Washington Post)

What are your feelings about child labor in the kitchen?

Katherine Waymire, Minneapolis mother of two and inventor of the Cherry Chomper, is in favor of it. That’s why she designed this surprisingly effective gizmo to pit cherries.

“I bought a box of cherries at Costco [read: huge] and set my kids up to help pit them, because I’m a working mom,” she told me last week by phone. “The pitters I own are like staple removers. My little one had the thing pointed at her eyeball, while the other had juice shooting across the room. I vowed right then to come up with something that was safe for them to use.”

Waymire created a design that does not involve a pincer-like motion, which means people who don’t have great hand strength (read: young children, older folks, arthritis sufferers) could use it. Put the cherry in the slot, give the little guy a quick, decisive bap on the head and the cherry pit is shoved downward into a clear chamber, which holds about 20 or so pits. The fruit stays remarkably intact, with little or no cherry juice sent forth. The tool has out for about a year, and this is its first cherry season.

This is not Waymire's first foray into kitchen tool design. Her company Talisman Designs makes, among other things, Butter Boy and Butter Girl, slathering receptacles with personality. So it made sense for the Cherry Chomper to have a face as well. Consider him/it a cousin, Waymire says. And her kids like using him/it.

The Cherry Chomper’s dishwasher-safe; it costs $12.99 through online stores such as Bed Bath and Beyond. Locally, it’s available at Home Rule, 1807 14th St. NW, 202-797-5544.

And if you’re thinking, hey, cherry season’s almost over, consider this: The Chomper pits olives, too.

-- Bonnie Benwick

By The Food Section  |  July 14, 2009; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  Shopping  | Tags: Bonnie Benwick, cherries, shopping  
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