Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Pine Mouth

Before this week I'd at least heard of "pine mouth," the mysterious and ultimately harmless effect wherein eating pine nuts can temporarily screw up your sense of taste. Apparently it started to get noticed around 2008, and no one's sure what causes it. But some weekend pesto pasta has given me pine mouth, I'm ready to say with some certainly. Seems to be the easiest explanation for (1) bad taste in mouth; (2) no other symptoms; (3) just ate pine nuts. This is supposed to go away within a few days or a couple of weeks.

Descriptions of pine mouth are all over the Internet now, and they tend to play up how horrible it is. I don't find my experience that horrible. There's a lingering bad aftertaste to everything, bitter and a bit puckering, and my sense of sweet is way depressed. But the bland savory foods I tend to rely on aren't affected that much. Sugar-free wintergreen-flavored gum helps. It's after you eat that I have to ameliorate it, a lingering, somewhat distracting sense.

Maddie didn't get it, from the same batch of nuts -- it's really that unpredictable an effect -- although I need to check in on the friends we had over for pesto pasta dinner. People theorize that Chinese pine nuts are to blame, but I'm sure I didn't help things by using pine nuts that had been sitting around for a while. They seemed otherwise edible, but you're apparently not supposed to do that.

Weird, huh?


Blogger Pete said...

I'm sad that this is caused by pine nuts, rather than cones or boughs.

3/31/2011 9:49 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

"Man, I shouldn't have eaten a whole package of those weird Swiss 'Tannenbaumgummi' candies. What does 'Mit echten Kiefernnadeln' mean?"

3/31/2011 10:08 AM  

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