Desserts & Bakeries
Southern & Soul
Cobble Hill/Carroll Gardens
Lower East Side
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April 26, 2010
This past Saturday I cooked roasted cauliflower with olive oil, garlic, lemon and pine nuts. I topped it with parmesan cheese. It tasted great. But then two days later Seth complained of a bitter, metallic taste in his mouth which he quickly blamed on whatever he was eating: " This pizza tastes like a water faucet." "Something old and dirty must have fallen in my ragu." It wasn't the pizza or the ragu, but a chemical reaction taking place in Seth's mouth from the pine nuts he consumed two days prior. Seth has Pine Mouth. Ever heard of it? We hadn't either. Apparently, Trader Joe's pine nuts (which Seth unfortunately ate) have been afflicting many innocent pignolia eaters. In order to inform future sufferers, Seth agreed to an interview (as long as we didn't make him eat anything sweet — it triggers the condition — in the process). Read on.
How soon after consuming the pine nuts did you notice that something wasn't right in your mouth?
On Friday night, I ate a pinch of Trader Joe's raw pine nuts just before eating the cooked nuts that were a part of your cauliflower dish. By Sunday afternoon, something in our leftover Ragu must've triggered the chemical reaction in my mouth, because after taking one bite I thought I had eaten some sort of awfully bitter herb. After a few hours, I either got used to the taste, or it subsided, but then when we were shopping at Trader Joe's I tried a free sample (it was some sort of flatbread) and there it was again! At that point, I was convinced that whatever bitter herb was in the Ragu was ALSO in the sampler flatbread. The terrible taste didn't go away for a while, so I finally decided to Google "weird taste in mouth" and "bitter taste in mouth"... and stumbled across the true culprit: PINE NUTS.
Can you describe the Pine Mouth symptoms?
Basically, theres a bitter almost metallic taste that is in my mouth and at the back of my throat, mostly when Im eating food. Its at its worst when eating sweet things (the apple sauce I had today tasted almost inedible)
How did you know that it was Pine Mouth?
At first, I thought that it was something worse. A bizarre taste in your mouth can apparently be the result of cancer, diabetes, and some other serious problems. When I dug deeper, I figured it must be the pine nuts I ate. Most cases of Pine Mouth all happen 2 to 3 days after eating the nuts.
What did you think was wrong with you?
Honestly, I thought I was going crazy.
Is there a cure?
Not that I know of. Time and patience are the only cure. You just have to wait it out.
I've heard swirling vinegar in your mouth can be helpful, but that sounds even more disgusting.
How l long will this last?
Anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks!
How bad is it? 1-10?
A 2 or 3 when not eating, and a 6-7 when eating. To be honest, I dont think I have it as bad as some people. Ive read that for some people, drinking wine tastes like swallowing liquid metal; I've still found a way to enjoy my Sauvignon Blanc.
Would you ever eat pine nuts again?
I don't think so. Maybe I'd consider it if it was at a nice restaurant, or at least if the nuts are really cooked. I cant seem to figure out if this only happens when eating raw nuts or not, but all signs seem to point to it happening more often when someone is consuming them raw.
Posted in FOOD on April 26, 2010 2:31pm by Jena Steinbach | 94 comments
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We are young (early 20's) and hungry (for knowledge! music! art! food!) friends living on (or in areas which border) Manhattan. We moved to the city seeking higher education, and an alternative to frat parties and gin buckets. We prefer a bottle of Chianti to a keg, lunches at City Bakery to a dining hall, Joe's to Starbucks, Frankie's Amatriciana to Batali's. Our uniting factor is our love for food. For detailed, personal information, keep reading.
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