How Pine Nuts Can Ruin Tastebuds For Weeks

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. Report says half of patients who think they have a food allergy actually don’t. This was the fate of San Francisco-based chef and food critic Jenna VanGrowski, 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.

The cause? It seemed the handful of pine nuts she snacked on days prior was the unlikely culprit. Fortunately, she also discovered that the reaction is temporary; most cases go away on their own in one to four weeks.

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