Dear PoP – Anyone Get “Pine Mouth” Recently?

Photo by PoPville flickr user Mr. T in DC

Imagine not being able to taste the above? It sounds like a Seinfeld episode but:

“Dear PoP,

Here’s what may at first sound like a really weird question for your readers: has anyone else in the CH/Petworth area recently come down with a case of “pine mouth?” It is a condition where a person suddenly has a persistent and horribly bitter metallic taste in their mouth that can last for weeks. It is apparently caused by bad pine nuts, and makes ones life pretty miserable because all food and drink tastes like cr*p. I mention it to you because I just got it from pine nuts I bought at the CH Giant last week. I was extremely perplexed (and a bit concerned) by what was happening, and finally tracked down the likely cause to those damn nuts. So now I am wondering if others in the area are suffering from it as well.

And, no, I’m not making this up.

You can get more information about “pine mouth” here:

Holy cow, first bed bugs, now this. I’m starting to freak out.  For real, has anyone else experienced this bizarre condition?

49 Comment

  • Did your container say ‘made in china’ or something of that ilk? Sorry that you didn’t catch the warnings a month ago…

  • I just bought some yesterday…I’ll be curious to see if it happens!

  • That happened to me a couple months ago. The pine nuts I got were from Whole Foods.

  • I did! I even knew that Chinese pine nuts could cause this condition and then still bought them at the Petworth Yes!. I had it for about 7 days. It was distracting but not too worrisome since I already knew what it was and that it definitely goes away. But I’ll never eat them again, the taste was pretty gross.

  • Yes, but I had it last year. And it was miserable! Lasted about a week and was quite frustrating. OJ tasted like vomit. Haven’t had pine nuts since out of fear of getting it again.

  • Remember back in the good ole days when we thought pesto was safe?

    • Emmaleigh504

      Ha! That’s why I make my own pesto and only use almonds. Ok really it’s because I hate pine nuts.

  • Never heard of this. Just wondering–were the pine nuts consumed in the state they were in out of the container?
    Would toasting them make a difference?

  • Don’t let this prevent the mass consumption of pesto!! Just use walnuts or almonds instead of Pine Nuts.

  • maybe you should just keep nuts out of your mouth.

  • Yes! The same thing happened to me about a week ago. I ate pine nuts from Whole Foods (bulk aisle) and for about a week I had pine mouth taste in my mouth. We eat pine nuts from Costco all the time and had never previously had this problem.

  • deez nuts?

  • WOW – Maybe that was the cause of that rotten metallic puke taste in my mouth. I thought it was the cement to a crown I got recently but I have been using some pine nuts that I bought from Whole Foods that I keep in the freezer and toast before using. I’ve used them several times in the past few months and have had this problem only a couple of times; sometimes worse than others. The nuts don’t taste or look bad, so it must be just a few in the mix. huh, never knew.

  • NUTS.

    No seriously, this is interesting, and good to know! Thanks for posting!

  • I had Pine mouth for two weeks. Was miserable at first, then decided that it’s great for dieting. Who feels like eating when everything tastes like pennies?

    I lost 7 lbs with pine mouth!

  • That happened to me about two weeks ago! I got pine nuts from the same CH Giant to make a pesto. Little glass bottle of them. I thought I was going crazy, and wasn’t too happy.

  • Yes! This happened to me with some pine nuts from the Whole Foods in Annapolis. Totally disgusting. I bought some and ate them the same day–and by the next day food and wine (especially wine!) tasted like gross.

    Cooking them might help. I ate some raw while cooking and put some sauteed ones in dinner; I got pine mouth for a week, but my fiancee, who only ate the cooked ones, didn’t.

  • Oh, must be a great way to diet! Makes food taste gross!

  • never had the pinenut thing, but I’m looking at the photo and looks disgusting. I know what it is, but it looks like some half-rotten something somebody picked up off the street.

  • I had a friend who had this — sounds awful!

    Walnuts are also delicious in pesto with pecorino romano. 🙂

  • the interesting thing is that it doesn’t affect everyone. My wife ate from the same batch and she never got it. She thought I was crazy, and so did I, until Dr. Google introduced me to others with the same condition. Again, it’s miserable. And like someone else mentioned, wine was disgusting. Only booze that was palatable was light beer.

  • Ooooh – let’s have one of those “DC-Inspired Recipes”. How about Cilantro-Pine Nut Pesto? That soap/penny taste is SO DC! ;-D

    (For the record, I am a cilantro lover, not a hater)

  • wow, that’s SO on topic! Looks like a spambot joined the conversation… a spambot whose first language isn’t English.

  • I was stricken with pine mouth last year! Hard lesson learned: if pine nuts are cheap, they are cheap for a reason.

  • YES! i actually had that right after july 4th weekend when i had pine nuts. i thought it was a cut in my mouth or something. thank you for posting this.

  • I had it last fall for about two weeks. I read that the most common source is rancid Chinese pinenuts, so now I don’t buy any nuts at all from China. If a country-of-origin is not listed on the package, I don’t buy it.

  • Finally an answer for this horrid taste in my mouth! I’ve had it for about a week now. Went to the dentist to see if it was an infection. Was starting to think I had lead poisoning from renovating my house. I’m extremely relieved to know it will go away on its own.

    The pine nuts I ate were also from the Columbia Heights Giant.

  • maybe you’re pregnant? I never had issues with pine nuts causing a metallic taste. the only times I’ve had a persistent metallic taste was when I was pregnant or when I sucked on pennies. just kidding about the latter.

    • Someone else suggested that too! Pregnancy test came back negative though, so I’m pretty sure it’s the pine nuts 🙂

  • YES! I bought some pine nuts from Whole Foods (P St location) a few weeks ago. I experienced an awful bitter flavor in my mouth for 5 days whenever I ate anything. As a person who loves to cook and loves food, it was awful! I thought I was losing my sense of taste. My husband is currently still suffering from pine mouth. His experience is lasting longer (over a week right now and counting) and his symptoms are a bit different – bitter AND metallic taste. I’m going to return my pine nuts to WF and let them know. I guess I’ll also be throwing out all the pesto I recently froze (how sad – all the basil from my potted basil plants that I used for the pesto is going to be trashed)! I guess I’ll be making walnut-based basil pesto from now on.

  • I think I’ve had this and never knew why. And I don’t even like pine nuts.

  • This is terrifying.

  • I definitely had this. It sucks and is incredibly frustrating, but then it goes away and you move on. Not a huge deal.

  • I’ve had this twice before and it is horrible. They say that it can be caused by extreme dehydration and stress in some cases, but I too, had consumed pine nuts. It was a horrible experience. I love pine nuts, and now am very weary of eating them.

  • YES! I got pine mouth this summer but it only lasted for four days and wasn’t severe. Yes it sucked and yes I thought I had brain cancer or all the diet cokes went rancid or something horrible. of course no one believed me.

    but yes, this happened to me, but it must have been from a lunch I bought out.

  • yep, i’ve had pine mouth for the first time this summer. i got it from eating pine nuts on a salad at the Pizza Paradiso in Georgetown in early June. it lasted six days for me. the second and third days after consumption were the worst. i was able to eat salads and drink water…and nothing else for six days.

  • I’m suffering from it right now. I bought pine nuts from the Whole Foods in Logan Circle late last week and made a pesto. Everything has tasted bitter since Saturday.

  • Did you seriously censor the word crap? Seriously? But then you turn around and throw a superfluous damn? So confusing…..

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