Hello again. I mentioned in my last article that I had experienced both good and bad culinary adventures. The standing rib roast was definitely the good. Now for the bad.
My friend, Geri, heard me complaining about mouth ulcers a couple of weeks ago. I have always attributed them to overdindulgence in certain foods, like sharp cheeses, cured meats, and eggplant and indeed, I had had a veggie lasagna chock full of eggplant the night before. Geri said she thought it might be h. pylori, which causes all kinds of troubles for the gastrointestinal system from top to bottom. I told her it certainly was not, but of course I went home and Googled it and immediately decided I had it.
Not wanting to head to a doctor for a long series of tests, followed by medication trial and error, I researched natural cures instead and the clear winner seemed to be pine nut oil. WELL, OKAY then. I love a cure that's delicious. In fact, I really don't see why chocolate can't be incorporated into more therapies. Anyway, I immediately ate a half cup of pine nuts. I felt better already.
The next day, I found the oil at Fairway ($23.99 for a rather small bottle. If you ever meet my husband, play dumb). I drizzled a tablespoon of the stuff onto my spinach and clementine salad and thought I had gone to Heaven. It was a few hours later that the trouble started. I started to notice a bitter taste in my mouth. No matter what I ate or drank, it would not go away. It was almost the same feeling as when you eat a citrus rind by accident. I woke up the next morning with the bitter taste and it persisted through the day and into the night.
That's when I went back to Dr. Google, the cheapest medical practitioner on Earth. I plugged in my symptom and, lo and behold, what popped up but something called "pine mouth." Apparently, certain people have a sort of allergic reaction to the pine nut oil that results in a bitter taste in the mouth. Web MD said that it sometimes lasts a week after the last pine nut is consumed. I quit the oil, and gradually, the bitter taste disappeared and hasn't been back since.
Will I stop eating pine nuts? No way. I love pesto, for one thing. The second is that my sister-in-law's mother makes these awesome Italian pignoli cookies at Christmas. I'll just be aware of the bittersweet price I'll have to pay later. And now, dear readers, you will, too. I wonder how many of you have experienced this allergy? Please let me know.