November 26, 2009 by ronfluff
I have developed an affliction. Indeed I have developed a cruel affliction for someone who likes cooking and eating. No, I haven’t lost my tongue or been forced onto to a diet of shredded wheat and Pot Noodles. No, I haven’t been forced to cook on a ceramic hob at all times, been told to give up alcohol or – God forbid – lost my internet connection. Instead, I have discovered that I have an intolerance. Yep. Bad.
But…before you all shout back “I knew it all along,” and “that explains everything,” it’s not one of your new-aged diagnoses or intolerances, (where one pierces one’s elbow with a bee-sting, stands on a pebble for fifteen minutes and urinates the diagnosis onto rice paper before concluding that a wheat-free diet is in order). Rather boringly, I Googled it and found it straight away.
First, the symptoms (and they are grim, food lovers, believe me – although not in a toiletry way, so you can keep eating your lunch). After doing my friends at You Tuba a favour, by cooking for them at their recording session on Sunday, I noticed that my food began to taste funny. Not wanting to alarm the dozen or so people who had eaten my food, I kept it to myself. After no complaints from them I began to think that perhaps I’d burnt my tongue, or that my fillings were coming out. Indeed, the taste was pretty metallic and sour, as if I was slowly poisoning myself. Over the next few days this continued, and as I cooked and ate I checked that those cooking and eating with me weren’t experiencing the same thing. When it became clear that they weren’t I began to worry. Should I prepare myself for a massive toothache, go to the doctor, or maybe draw up a last will and testament? No, I decided. Google it was then…
The answer came pretty quickly, as it often does. Apparently, quite a few people have been getting this reaction, suffering a bitter taste when they eat or drink anything, even when they clean their teeth. According to various sources, this is getting more prevalent. Worryingly, it can last from between a few days and several weeks.
And the culprit? Pine nuts. Bloody pine nuts. Supposed to be good for you. Bah! I made and ate pesto on Thursday, and had a handful as a little graze on Friday. Damn it! They are off the menu!
The reasons for this reaction, and it’s apparent growth in numbers worldwide, is unclear. It doesn’t seem to be an allergy and it might only come from certain batches (the Chinese have been implicated, but there is insufficient evidence). Needless to say, and especially with the festive season approaching, I’m pining for a return to normal…
Further reading on the great pine nut mystery!
- Why nuts leave a bitter taste
- The Great Pine Nut Mystery
- The Pine Nut Menace
- Taste disturbances after pine nut ingestion