Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The Mystery of the Discombobulated* Taste

The other day I started noticing this awful bitter taste in the back of my mouth. At first I thought I'd somehow inhaled some of my sunscreen (yah, I know, not so smart) and a drink of water when I got home would take care of it. That didn't seem to work, so I figured brushing my teeth and giving my tongue a good scrub would make it go away. That didn't seem to work either.

So now I'm going through the list in my head-

Heavy metal poisoning?
Brain tumor?
Tongue leprosy?
Bubonic plague?

None of these sounded terribly plausible, but I am the girl who is allergic to the sun so I wouldn't have really put it past my body to pull some horrible trick like that. While I was contemplating my impending doom, Martijn says to me "Did you buy a different kind of coffee?" I told him I hadn't and he said "This tastes terrible. I'm having this horrible taste in the back of my mouth!"

Never being one to overreact, I think "OH NO, NEUROTOXINS ARE BEING RELEASED INTO THE AIR."

Martijn had a much less reasonable explanation- it was something we ate.

He did what any nerd would do. He googled it.

If you google "bittere smaak in mijn mond," (bitter taste in my mouth) the very first hit and the three following it are about pine nuts causing a nasty bitter and metallic taste at the back of the mouth! Apparently, this is not an uncommon occurance and it only happens with pine nuts that have come out of China. Since the about 99% of the pine nuts I've consumed came from local sources in Utah, it explained why I'd never heard of it. It lasts about 5 days in most people, but some of the lucky ones get to live with the nasty nasty taste for 3 weeks or more. We're on day 7 and it's just now subsiding!

As far as I can tell, there are no other ill effects from the Chinese pine nuts, but I can seriously recommend STAYING AWAY. Your tastebuds will thank you for it.

*Martijn thought I made up this word the first time I said it, but HE is the one that suggested I use it here.


Noodle said...

That sucks... I would hate having a funny taste in my mouth all the time... And I knew exacaly what discombobulated ment... I can't spell it (i had to copy it from you hehehe) but I knew what it was silly tijn who taught him english hehehe In reality he probably speaks better english than us... But hey I have to tease him with what I can =D

Amy said...

Wow, I didn't know the pine nuts I am accustomed to are localy grown! Nor did I know you are allergic to the sun. How did I not know that? I am glad you got it figured out and are not dying of anything. That is great news, and I think I will stay away from Chinese pine nuts. Thanks for the heads up.

Wizardress said...

Wow I've eaten lots of pinenuts and never had that problem either, but what a freaky thing. I wonder why that is?

I'm glad you are safe :)


Elizabeth said...

I've heard a lot of people complain about the pine nut after taste, but I've never had it. I have so many weird things wrong with me I probably would just brush it off.

Anonymous said...

ha! You sound like me.

One day a lump appeared on my wrist. So I made a doctor's appointment. When I got there, he asked me, "Did you look online to see waht you had?" I said, "Are you crazy?!?! Heck no I didn't look online! I would have had myself convinced I was dying and spent the worst week of my life!"

I guess he was just asking because it's a relatively common, totally benign cyst. haha.

Sharinskishe said...

That is great information. I have never had a problem either, but I eat mostly local Utah / western harvested. I do hate it when you get an awful taste in your mouth.

I love food soooooo very much that a metallic or awful taste gets in the way of the wonderful taste of normal food. I almost have to stop eating until the taste subsides. Almost, is the key word here. If I did stop eating when I had 'metal mouth', I would intentionally get it so that I could stop eating and lose weight. And we all know that that isn't going to happen!!!

Glad things are subsiding. I want to see your new haircut!


Peggy said...

How awful! That kind of experience could almost ruin pine nuts for a person.

Housewife Savant said...

I came over from SITS to say "Good Morning."
Your blog is delightful and I've been reading, reading, reading.
You're so talented. I hate that (which is to say I'm NOT talented, and jealous.)
You've got a seriously lovely blog, and you're funny...metal poisoning...neurotoxins...!

Tiggy said...

Thanks so much! I was really getting worried about what this nasty taste at the back of my tongue was, esp as I've recently had my lounge floorboards varnished. I would never have thought of the pine nuts! I don't normally eat them as they're so expensive, but then I saw these cheaper ones....have emailed 'Julian Graves' to check where they're pine nuts come from. Five days of this, ugh, and I'm only on day one! And I ate a lot. :-(


Anonymous said...

I have experienced the bitter taste in my mouth. It is on the middle to back part of my tongue. It was interesting that you mentioned sunscreen. There is a facial sunscreen which I use that causes the bitter taste. I do not put it near my mouth so that is not the issue. Chemicals are absorbed through the skin and this happens each time I use it. Oh, yes...I do love pinenuts but don't see the direct correlation as with sunscreen.

Best wishes from Portland, Oregon

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