Friday, December 10, 2010

"Pine Mouth"? Really?

This morning I swigged down a cup of milk my dd left on the counter and I nearly gagged it tasted so spoiled. It was vaguely troubling because it was fresh milk and hadn't been out long. Then the cracker I ate to get rid of the taste was bitter. So was the clementine. So what is the one thing that has to taste good when nothing else does? Chocolate of course. The sweet taste of chocolate on my tongue was a relief for about ten seconds until it too turned bitter. Same thing all day no matter what I ate. Allergic reaction? Fatal illness? Fearing that I was doomed forever, I turned to the Internet to find that there are others like me with this sudden bitter mouth onset. The culprit?
Pine nuts apparently. I had a few the other day when I was trying to decide if they would go with salmon.
This is just one of the many articles I found:

It's a chef's worst nightmare: to wake up one morning to find that food has lost its flavor -- that every morsel to cross your lips tastes bitter, metallic, and inedible.

Pine Mouth
Virtually undocumented before 2009, "pine mouth", a bizarre taste distrubance, has been brought to... Expand
(Getty Images)

This was the fate of San Francisco-based chef and food critic Jenna VanGrowski, 30, who suffered from a bizarre taste disturbance last month known as "pine mouth."

Though she didn't know it at the time, the bitter aftertaste that came with anything she ate was due to a rare and seemingly random reaction to eating pine nuts. She snacked on some two days before.

Various "palate cleansing" foods failed to get rid of the metallic aftertaste, known medically as metallogeusia.

When even the taste of toothpaste was "almost unbearable," she says she started to worry.

"I'm a chef, so I started getting really scared and frustrated because I need to be able to taste to do what I do. I had no idea what the heck was going on."

Van Growski works for ChefsBest, an organization that judges food products.

But as she soon found, she was not alone.

A quick Google search uncovered dozens of others on blogs and Facebook reporting her same symptoms and calling it "pine mouth syndrome."

The cause? It seemed the handful of pine nuts she snacked on days prior was the unlikely culprit. (the rest of the story.....)

I share this first because I want a pity party - it's the holidays for crying out loud. This is the time to be eating all sorts of scrumptious things. (Then again, maybe this is a blessing?) and second just in case it happens to you or anyone you love, you can assure them that they aren't dying and that it will (most likely) go away.

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