Last week I had lunch at one of my favorite restaurants. I got a pesto dish that I’ve had many, many times, and it tasted fine, as usual. But then the very next day, I had a very strange metallic taste in my mouth. No amount of toothbrushing or water drinking seemed to get rid of it. I had never experienced anything like it before – all food tasted bad, it didn’t seem to be going away, and the prospect of having this go on forever, or getting some mysterious disease, scared me. With Lonnie’s help I believe I found the cause – our sometimes quality-free friends the Chinese have been selling us a variety of pine nuts that have apparently never been used in human consumption until just recently. The symptoms are exactly as I described, a metallic taste in your mouth. Fortunately, it does go away, but not for several days in some cases. Yay, economic development at the cost of human health!
This condition is new, and so research is sketchy on this. But I am convinced that this is what happened. In the articles I saw, there is no known long-term damage. But I am guessing that this cannot be good. I’m not going to mention the name of the restaurant, because it’s one that I like, I believe this was an inadvertent mistake, and I’m fine now.
I happen to love pine nuts, and as any fan knows, the Italian variety has become almost prohibitively expensive. So buying the much cheaper Chinese variety is tempting. But restaurants, if you’re listening… please think twice about buying that cheap Chinese stuff. You may lose some customers if you do. At least eat it yourself first, and then see what happens to you in a day or so. If nothing happens, your nuts are probably in the clear, so to speak.