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Pining Away

Thursday night I was nibbling on party food, home party food—hummus, edamame, French onion dip, crackers, grilled kabobs—not the lollipop chicken and sliders of catered parties and nothing with crazy flavors. Which is why the rotten, bitter taste that suddenly appeared in my mouth made no sense. Had I damaged my taste buds with too much alcohol—or I was allergic to cane rum? Sunday, I'd attended a cachaça seminar and because I'm easily influenced had brought a bottle of Leblon as a gift to this birthday party.

Friday, my morning half-bagel splurge (I know, sad) was ruined by the metallic bitterness and it didn't let up the rest of the day. I turned to Twitter, which has never been the source of any particular wisdom (or camaraderie or marketing platform or whatever it is particpants use it for) until now. I got my answer! Bret Thorn of Nation's Restaurant News knew what was what.

Pine nut diagnosis

Pine nuts. Yes, I had eaten them, toasted and sprinkled on a salad I'd made Monday night. Trader Joe's brand. But nonsensically, I had used these same pine nuts in a green bean dish on Memorial Day when cooking for a group of visiting family members and suffered no ill effects. I wonder if anyone else did.

Saturday, I thought I'd gotten rid of the pine nut plague; it wasn't noticeable at all while drinking Sixpoint Rye and eating pizza while watching the World Cup at Rocky Sullivan's. But the food-wrecking sensation crept back while late night snacking at The Vanderbilt, triggered by a glass of Torrontes.

Sunday, I learned that pine nut mouth is an epidemic! Straight from The Awl, which is very much like the CDC. Megnut suffered the same bitter fate last week. The syndrome was also just mentioned on The Body Odd, an MSNBC blog.

Three in a week is a trend. Move over miracle fruit, rancid pine nuts are all the rage.

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