Something to make an epiglutton lose enthusiasm: pine mouth

Since yesterday afternoon, I’ve had a horrid, nasty, bitter taste in my mouth. I’ve been trying to figure out what caused it, and have gone websurfing.

Other than things that aren’t the case (jaundice, diabetes, heavy metal poisoning, tooth decay, pregnancy) I was running up against a number of dead-ends, until I stumbled on one article, which led to another, and another.

There is a problem with some pine nuts that are out there. They cause a documented problem that starts a day or more after consumption: everything tastes bitter. Nasty bitter. Like that nail polish they used to use on kids who bit their nails.

I’m going to talk to the restaurant I had lunch on Tuesday: they may want to stop putting the pignoles on the gnocci. For now, at least.

Some articles referencing the problem:

On Epicurious in MayOn Epicurious in September (the problem seems to be becoming more widespread)

Roger Hyam’s blog, from last fall.

What’s causing it? There seem to be several theories, several different places people have bought pine nuts from that have caused the problem. Maybe they’re from China. X bought his from Trader Vic’s. Y bought hers from Costco. The Z’s bought theirs at Sainburys. At this point, I haven’t seen a definitive answer, but I am taking some consolation in the news that it will go away and my taste will return to normal.