Saturday, September 27, 2014

What is Pine Nut Syndrome

I had a very strange thing happen to me this past week.

Every time I drank something or took a bite of anything
I experienced this awful bitter taste in my mouth.

I remarked one night after dinner to the pipeliner
that this "problem" 
was driving me bonkers!

He thought maybe I was coming down with a cold.
Both him and little man had been dealing with one.

The next night after a dinner, a meal I could barely eat, I decided to "google"
bitter taste in my mouth.

I read through the titles that popped up on my computer screen.
But one title really stood out.

Pine Nut Syndrome

People suffering from a constant bitter or metallic taste as a result of eating pine nuts.


I was on to something!

This is what I had made earlier in the week:

A big batch of fresh pesto!

Those little things up in the right hand corner, pine nuts!

I kept on reading different articles about this strange syndrome.

The adverse reaction can develop suddenly and inexplicably within 12 to 48 hours after consuming the nuts.

It can happen out of the blue,
even to people who have previously had no adverse reaction.

It does  not seem to matter whether the pine nuts are raw or roasted.

It does not seem to matter whether three nuts are consumed or a handful.

The syndrome does not involve mold or any bacteria on the nuts.
It is not an allergy to them either.
Right now it just seems to be a mystery.

However most of the nuts that people have a reaction to come from China, and the Chinese species of white pines called
Pinus armandii.

The Food and Drug Administration is aware of the problem.
They even posted a page on Pine Mouth and the Consumption of Pine Nuts in March of 2011,
when there was a lot of reported cases.

Their report states the bitter taste can last between a few days, to 2 weeks, or as long as a month.

They also go on to say it is exacerbated by consumption of any other food during this period. 
Also refrain from sugary foods.
Sugar enhances the bitterness.

Nobody seems to know why it happens,
but it is not supposed to be dangerous.
Just very annoying!

I thought I would pass this along because this is the time of the year
we are busy harvesting our basil crops.
Getting ready to make that pesto for the freezer.

I guess this batch is going in the garbage!

It was so good too!

After all I did quite a bit of taste testing.

And now my taste tester will be out of whack for a week or 2!

I hope this post helps somebody else who developed this strange sensation!


Head on over to the hop!


  1. Interesting, I quite using pine nuts because my taster could not tell the difference between pine nuts and any other nut in the house and used at that time. Pesto is so good, throwing that out is so sad to see.......PS hope you don't get the upper respiratory virus going around it is awful, but does give a bitter/metallic taste............

    1. I will try a different nut next time. My sister is going to take that batch. I hope she doesn't have a reaction. I sure hope I don't get that crud either! Enjoy your Sunday!

  2. Wow Liz, I have never heard of this. What a strange thing it is! I love pine nuts, hope I don't have that problem. And hope that it goes away quickly for you!! I have basil that needs to be harvested, would love to know your recipe!

    1. I have never had a reaction to pine nuts before. I googled my pesto recipe, but never wrote it down. lol... Enjoy your Sunday!

  3. That is nuts!!! I have never heard of that but it makes you wonder why?!? I am glad you will be back to normal in a week or two! We don't make pesto with nuts because my little man has an allergy to nuts. Wishing you a lovely weekend and thank you for passing this along!! Nicole xo

    1. Nuts is right!! lol... I will have to find a recipe using something else too. Seems like a lot of people have nut allergies. Enjoy your Sunday!

  4. I didn't know that about pine nuts. One of my daughters and I have allergic reactions to walnuts and pecans.. I love them ~ so I still eat them in small doses. : )
    have a great weekend

    1. I had never heard of that before either. My hubby is allergic to pecans too. It seems lots of people have reactions to nuts. Enjoy your Sunday!

  5. I never heard of such a thing. Of course, I never heard of pine nuts, either so I guess I shouldn't be surprised. I'm glad you didn't get really sick.

    1. I had never heard of it either. Very glad it was nothing more than a bad taste in my mouth!

  6. Very interesting . . . I hope the Pine Nut Syndrome doesn't last for you.
    Too bad to gave to toss out all that pesto . . .
    New recipe with out the Pine Nuts?

    1. My sister loves pesto, so I might give it to her. My taste buds are almost back to normal. There has to be someway to make pesto with out those nuts!

  7. That's too bad, I hope you get your "good" taste back soon. What a strange thing, a very good post to read!

  8. Wow, I had no idea. Thanks for sharing this.

  9. New to me too. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Thank you for stopping by my blog. I enjoyed my first visit here, and found this most interesting and helpful! Who knows when I might find myself needing this information. Your blog is beautifully done!

    1. Thank you for visiting! I really enjoy reading your blog!

  11. I have never heard of this, interesting! I can't eat any nuts or seeds anymore unless I powder them so it hasn't been a problem. I also saw your recipe for the Snickers cake and how I wish I could try it. Snickers was one of my favorites!!

  12. That is so wierd!!! Glad you found the problem. Actually, I quit using pine nuts in my pesto due to the price. You can use other types of nuts, like walnuts, for your pesto.