I discovered something fascinating this week. A condition called pine mouth, which is an adverse reaction to eating pine nuts.
During this past week, everything has just tasted weird. Apart from a headache I felt otherwise fine. I turned to good old Google for help. Typing 'everything tastes funny' came up with a plethora of information and lucky for me I clicked on a blog that detailed my EXACT symptoms. I had eaten pine nuts numerous times over New Years weekend in 3 different dishes so it made sense.
_It started with a loss of appetite which is just not me. I ate two mouthfuls of dinner and felt full. By day 3 I could barely stand eating or drinking anything, even filtered water tasted awful. In hindsight I had asked my husband some questions that seemed stupid at the time, like 'has the mouthwash we buy changed its recipe?' and 'Does this hummus taste bland?'
I could not get my morning green smoothies to taste good and thought the fruit I used must have been unripe. The sushi I bought for lunch tasted like the rice had no seasoning. At its peak everything tasted bitter, I could barely taste anything sweet and struggled a bit with salty. A cup of tea or a berry radical hot chocolate was unbearable. Water tasted bitter. Sometimes food would taste bad straight away and mostly it would be the aftertaste. Between meals I would have this persistent foul taste in my mouth like had not brushed my teeth for days and had just sucked on an aspirin. I also had a headache that would not go away for about 4-5 days.
I have learned that the pine mouth phenomenon has been reported only since 2001, and it has not been linked to anything toxic in the pine nuts, nor pesticides, nor a particular origin in the world. There is a suggestion that because the world demand for pine-nuts has increased considerably in the past 10 years, they are being harvested too immature sometimes, or they may be rancid even if they taste normal, or species of pine nuts that are not supposed to be eaten are getting into the food supply. The same pine nuts may affect one person and not another, and the consumption does not mean you can't ever eat them again as its not an allergic reaction, its more like food poisoning as a one off event. Despite this, I can't imagine I will want to risk eating pine nuts ever again!
Sources suggest it can last from 5 days to two weeks. I am up to day 7 and its improving. I have an appetite again, can taste sweet again but not fully, a cup of tea without food is fine but with food is terrible. Water still taste a bit weird.
My top tips for coping with pine mouth