My wife and I are both enduring our second recent bout of "Pine Mouth," a bizarre condition that gives food a weird metallic taste and turns eating into a generally unpleasant experience.
I've done a bit of research and contacted the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Turns out it's a fairly new phenomenon, that's been widely reported in the U.S., and that's on the rise in Canada.
The pine nuts in question taste totally normal when you eat them. A couple days later though, food and drink start tasting weird. Apparently, this is the only symptom and it's not dangerous in any way -- just really annoying.
I don't have much advise to offer on which pine nuts to avoid, although both times it's happened to us, we noticed that the nuts looked much smaller than the ones we are used to. We bought the first batch at a bulk place in St. Lawrence Market. The second time they showed up in a salad at one of our favourite Queen West restaurants. I called the store owner the first time, and restaurant manager the second time. Both were nice and expressed concern, but not entirely convinced that their product was to blame. Can't say I blame them -- I didn't believe it myself when I first read about it, and it's hard to believe such a delicious ingredient could make other foods taste so gross.
Anyway, just thought folks might like to know that if you're experience similar symptoms, it might be those pine nuts you ate a few days ago.
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
, St Marys, ON N4X1C8, CA