Pastor Pine Mouth

In recent weeks, I've been very enamoured with pesto.
I love it. It's so tasty on just about everything!

Also, our church garden has had a surplus of basil, so I have had plenty of pesto making supplies. I invested in bag of pine nuts awhile back from Trader Joes.

Little did I know that pine nuts could be tastebud poisioners!

Let me explain.
Saturday I hosted a 20s and 30s event for church at my home.
I whipped up a delicious batch of sloppy joes.
But when I took a bite, I realized they tasted like metallic tar.

I thought, "Oh dear! I followed the simple recipe exactly! I guess I should add brown sugar."

I did. And the sloppy joes were a huge success!
I realized as I ate a bite of veggie pizza that night that it also tasted like metallic tar.
Then I had a banana. It also tasted like asphalt.

"This is very odd," I thought.
Perhaps I caught a strange flu.
But I felt very healthy.

Sunday morning I skipped breakfast (pre-sermon nerves).

I met a friend for lunch at Panera.
I ordered my favorite soup. Black bean.
It tasted like metallic tar asphalt sprinkled with aluminum foil.
Not pleasant. I am not a picky eater at all, so I knew it wasn't that.
I knew there was something wrong!

"This is really getting odd," I said.

Then I got out my phone and googled, "terrible taste in mouth every bite."

Guess what?
It's happened to other people, too!

And the culprit?
It always appears to be:
Bad pine nuts!

Really! And guess who has been eating plenty of pine nuts lately?

Apparently it lasts 1-4 weeks!!!!
But thankfully there are no other obvious symptoms.

It's sometimes called "pine mouth."
So just call me Pastor Pine Mouth for the next few weeks. :)

Here are some links:

FDA Link (yes, they acknowledge it, too)

Facebook Group

ABC news

Wikipedia (read down to risks of eating pine nuts)

From a message board: "I will never eat pine nuts again. It has been 4 days now and nothing but water tastes the same. I guess I will have to ride it out. This is just terrible."

So seriously, please be careful about Pine Nuts. BE CAREFUL. You do not want this to happen to you. It's bad and uncomfortably gross to eat any food (it all tastes like aluminum foil asphalt poison tires).

And specifically, please avoid pine nuts from Trader Joes. I read about them on a number of message boards. I love TJs and totally advocate shopping there. Just don't buy their pine nuts.


  1. Emily! Here is a funny story: I cannot have pine nuts for another reason. They contain trace amounts of toxins that make a very small number of people, including my dad and myself, hallucinate! Specifically, they give us waking nightmares. It is very terrifying! So I have to avoid pine nuts and pesto and while that can be tricky as a vegetarian, I have discovered that being afraid of a food is a good way to end up seriously disliking it. Darn you, pine nuts!

  2. That's so awful! FYI, since pine nuts are pretty darn expensive, I substitute chopped walnuts in my pesto...you can't even tell the difference!

  3. Thanks for the comments ladies!

    Sarah - that is weird! Pine nuts are poison!

    Hannah - I love the walnut idea! Sunflower seeds work, too.

  4. Emily, no lie. I just bought a bag of pine nuts but ended up working late so I didn't put them in the galette that I was planning. OMG. They are from Trader Joe's. Now I'm actually scared to eat them. Thanks for the heads up. I will proceed with caution.