Last Thursday night I went out with a few girlfriends for dinner. My one friend had brought along a delicious bottle of Chardonnay and since we didn't finish it, I took it home with me. Fast forward to Friday evening; I was thinking about that yummy wine all day. Making it just barely to 5 PM, I poured myself a glass and settled down on the couch to ease into the weekend. I took a sip ... and almost spit it out. It tasted metallic and almost rancid. I couldn't believe that such a nice bottle of wine could go bad in just one night.
The next morning my Starbucks coffee tasted strange also. Then the "bangers and mash" we had for lunch. I began to worry I was getting sick. Or maybe I just didn't really like Irish food at all?
Yesterday was much of the same - from my coffee to sips of the kid's lemonade, everything tasted horrible and wrong. This is when my brain went into overdrive. Was I was having a stroke? Did I have a brain tumor? Or was I just dying a slow death? I took to Dr. Google for some good old fashioned internet self-diagnosis and a dose paranoia, but what I found wasn't scary, as is it was odd.
In the past year FDA has received a number of consumer complaints regarding a bitter metallic taste associated with pine nuts. This taste, known as "pine mouth," typically begins 12 to 48 hours after consuming pine nuts, and lasts on average between a few days and two weeks. It is exacerbated by consumption of any other food during this period and significantly decreases appetite and enjoyment of food. The symptoms decrease over time with no apparent adverse clinical side effects.
In response to increased consumer complaints, FDA developed a detailed questionnaire, and collected and analyzed samples from some consumers submitting complaints. The Agency found that the majority of pine nuts associated with "pine mouth" were eaten in the raw state (either as snacks or as a component of salad or pesto sauce). It also found that consumers did not detect a rancid or off-taste when eating the pine nuts. Finally, FDA was able to confirm that "pine mouth" is an adverse food reaction to pine nuts that is clearly distinct from a typical food allergy.
Looking for something crunchy to add to salads, just last week I had bought a bag of pine nuts from Trader Joes. Wednesday, I made pasta and tossed it with some chicken sausage, arugula and pine nuts.
I've always eaten pine nuts and never had an issue before. Jason ate the same pasta and isn't experiencing any adverse side effects. But me? Day 4 of feeling like I have a mouth full of rancid pennies in my mouth. And according to everything I've read, this can go on for weeks.
I guess the only thing I can hope for now is to loose a few pounds from this situation.