Ever heard of pine nuts leaving a bitter or metallic taste in your mouth? I did a couple of months ago but didn’t think much of it. That was until a a glass of juice almost had me convinced I was being poisoned. It has now lasted several days and the worst part is that it seems like it can stay like this for weeks.
For a food loving guy like me, this really blows. Have I mentioned I do enjoy wine as well, apparently that will be one of the most revolting experiences with pine mouth. Crap-damn-it!
Moving past my disgust, pine mouth is quite an interesting phenomenon. Everyone seems puzzled with what’s behind it. Some has suggested rancid nuts and scientists have tested for led and chemicals, fortunately without results. Lately, though, it seems like it has something to do with what type of tree the nuts are taken from. Since most samples that have caused pine mouth are from China, many seems to be switching to other suppliers. You see, the harvests haven’t yielded enough so it seems ‘regular’ pine nuts is getting mixed with other types. As it is hard to distinguish between the different types I am too boycotting Chinese pine nuts from now on.
If you’re interested in reading more about this there’s a really good blog by a grad student specialising in food perceptions – The Great Pine Nut Mystery. Among other things she lists different types and if they’ll give you pine mouth. Swedish food journalist Lisa Förare Winbladh has also written about this after experiencing it, in Swedish though. Or you can just Google it and you’ll see that it seems to be trending.
Photo by Paul Goyette.