I like all kinds of nuts and seeds. My kids think I'm nuts because they find nuts disgusting.
Pine nuts must be one of my favourites. I eat them raw, straight off the pack, without toasting or making a pesto sauce or anything. They're tiny, but packed with nutrition. And they're delicious. Even Rusty likes them.
While googling about pine nuts one day, I chanced upon many posts about a weird side effect of eating pine nuts. Here's what I've pulled out from Wiki:
"A small minority of pine nuts can cause taste disturbances, developing 1–3 days after consumption and lasting for days or weeks. Though very unpleasant, there are no lasting effects. This phenomenon was first described in a scientific paper in 2001. Some publications have made reference to this phenomenon as "pine mouth".This is a relatively new phenomenon and appears to be most common in nuts coming from China. It has been theorized that the nut trees are absorbing something and passing it on to the nuts, or the nuts themselves are being treated with something before packaging. It is also possible that the nuts have spoiled and are rancid, causing the metallic taste disturbance. Also, it has been hypothesized that this bitter side effect is caused by an allergy that some people may have to pine nuts, but this does not explain the recent appearance of this syndrome. Metallic taste disturbance, known as metallogeusia, is reported 1–3 days after ingestion, being worse on day 2 and lasting for up to 2 weeks. Cases were self-limited and resolve without treatment."
At first I pooh-poohed this theory. What rubbish! But there are hundreds of threads on the Internet about this. Then it happened to me one day. I experienced the strangest sensation in my mouth. For many days, everything I ate tasted sourish and bitter. I lost my appetite and suspected it was the pack of pine nuts from Mustafa Supermarket. The nuts were from China. I threw the entire pack away.
I usually buy the organic ones from USA. When I came across the ones in Mustafa, I bought without checking the country of origin.
After that incident, I bought my next pack from the organic stall. I checked the expiry date and country of origin (USA) before paying. Last week, I ate a small handful. When my mouth felt a little strange 2 days later, I had reason to suspect the nuts.
I decided to try again two nights ago. This time I ate more. True enough, today I am experiencing that same bile taste in my mouth again. Everything tastes so weird now, even my saliva tastes funny.
It seems that both the China and USA imports are capable of causing taste disturbances. Don't tell me I have to give up pine nuts forever!