A few days ago I was making a salad for lunch and decided to look through the cupboard for tasty morsels to toss in to my salad meal.
Oooooooooooooooooooooooo! I spied a bag of pine nuts, pine nuts that I bought from Trader Joe's, my favorite place to buy nuts because they are so reasonably priced.
I went against my own rules when shopping and I didn't read the nut label, looking to see where the nuts are from; mistake. If you are wondering, the nuts come from Russia or Korea. I had heard that pine nuts from China are trouble because of how the seeds are harvested causing contamination.
My salad was delicious until I tasted a "bad seed." Immediately I had a metallic taste in my mouth, a taste that didn't go away. No matter how much I brushed my teeth and tongue, the terrible taste was still in my mouth. My dinner was horrible and my wine tasted bad; everything tasted bitter.
Like most people, I turned to the internet to Google my symptoms. I typed in "metallic taste in mouth" and came up with results, a list that included pine nuts. I didn't look at the pine nut result until after I read about the serious illnesses that have a symptom of a metallic taste; cancer and HIV were top of the list. Not having any other symptoms of these serious illnesses, I read about pine nuts.
Eating a rancid pine nut can cause what is known as dysgeusia. When one eats pine nuts the disturbance is also known as "pine mouth." It's a weird sensation to lose ones ability to taste, especially when it's a sense that I use every day when I am preparing recipes. My taste disturbance began like a shot and lasted for 3 days, just like the Wikipedia article had stated.
What I have learned about pine nuts:
- Avoid buying pine nuts from China, Russia and Korea. They could be using a different variety of pine to harvest pine seeds, a variety that causes taste disturbances.
- Spend the money and buy good quality pine nuts; Pine nuts from Italy are your best bet.
- Store pine nuts in the refrigerator or freezer to help hold off spoiling
I used to love Trader Joe's nuts. I trusted this store chain and found myself blindly purchasing nuts and seeds without looking to see where the nuts and seeds originated. I have learned my lesson. Imagine if I gave my mom some of these rancid seeds? I can't even imagine what would happen; I don't want to find out.
If you find that after you eat some pine nuts and you have a horrible metallic taste in your mouth, where everything that you eat and or drink tastes nasty, you are experiencing a taste disturbance.
What I did to help ease the lousy taste in my mouth was I took 2 teaspoons of Braag's Apple Cider Vinegar before I ate lunch and dinner; it seemed to help neutralize the foul taste. This morning I woke up and my taste buds are back to normal. Coffee tastes good again.
Today I will celebrate with food and skip the pine nuts.