Pine Mouth Syndrome Is a Real-Life Nightmare

Imagine taking 50 pennies and putting them in your mouth. Now imagine dealing with that residual metallic taste for two weeks. If you like pine nuts, that penny flavor could be in your future. A phenomenon known as Pine Mouth Syndrome is an intense metallic taste that affects a small number of pine nut eaters. According to the FDA, symptoms develop 12 to 48 hours after pine nuts are eaten and can last anywhere from 2 days to 3 weeks. Every time you eat or drink, the good old sucking-on-a-penny taste worsens, overtaking the flavor of any food you’re eating. What’s truly horrifying about this freak occurrence is that scientists have no idea what causes it. The only thing that can be done is to warn people, which is why a warning label comes on most bags of pine nuts, alerting people with a sensitivity to pine nuts that may experience a reaction to them. So, the next time you’re about to order pesto or pignoli cookies, take a minute to think about the potential consequences. If you know you have a sensitivity, you know to stay away from pine nuts. If you don’t know whether you have a sensitivity, it may be best to reach for the cashews instead.