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The cause of the bitter taste in my mouth

Posted Sep 29 2009 4:09pm 1 Comment
Earlier this week I commented to Joey that I had a weird bitter taste in my mouth. It started on Friday afternoon while I was eating lunch and then I really noticed it when I was eating my stir fry at dinner. Lo and behold, Joey was experiencing the same thing! We figured it would just go away, but thought it was a strange coincidence that we were both feeling this way.

Over the weekend we began checking in with one another to see whether we were still tasting the bitterness. Mine sort of started to go away today, but came back as soon as we were eating dinner. Joey was starting to get concerned so we went ahead and googled it, fully knowing that we could be on our way to discovering that this mysterious symptom was the first sign of impending death. He googled "bitter taste in my mouth while eating" and after reading a few forums and blogs we discovered the cause:

Pine nuts.

Remember how I was raving about thateggplant cannelloniI made last week? The faux ricotta in the eggplant shells contained pine nuts. And it turns out that some pine nuts (apparently many from China) can leave those who eat them with a bitter aftertaste in their mouths. I don't know where my pine nuts came from because I just scooped them out of a bin at the bulk store.

It's been dubbed "Pine Mouth" and the symptoms of the bitter, sometimes metallic aftertaste can appear up to three days after a person has consumed the nuts in question and can last up to four weeks!! We read tonnes of stories and comments of people who had experienced the exact same thing mere days after eating pine nuts. A botanist in the UK wrote a blog about it and links to a paper written about it in the European Journal of Emergency Medicine.


I like pine nuts and that eggplant dish was phenomenal so I'm a little sad right now. It's bittersweet because at least I know that I'm not crazy or dying.

Has anyone else experienced pine mouth? Anyone know any cures or have any suggestions on how to get rid of it? I really don't want things to taste this bad for a whole month!!
Comments (1)
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I HAD to respond to your entry.  On Friday I had a pumpkin and pinenut quiche at a party, and since I liked it so much I duplicated it on Saturday for my family. I ate the lion's share of it plus a bunch of extra pinenuts.  On Monday afternoon EVERYTHING started to taste bitter to me.  Today is Wednesday and the problem is still here.   I haven't been ill, nor had antibiotics for almost two years nor am I on any other sort of medication. 

Out of curiosity, I googled the problem tonight and was sceptical of the potential problems because I feel pretty healthy otherwise.  Then I came across your entry and feel it is most likely due to the pinenuts.   I never would have thought this could be true, as I used to eat lots of pinenuts but never had such a reaction before. 

Thank you so much for the info, and I wanted to share my story with you.  I appreciate your taking the time and posting this info.

I'll keep you posted about how it develops.  One month is a long time...and I was so happy to discover this new dish but will now abandon my new recipe...


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