I love making Pesto! I love it in pasta, over toasted bread, and even in chicken recipes! I just couldn’t get enough of it. To make pesto, all you need is parmesan cheese, olive oil, garlic, basil leaves, and pine nuts. However, I just recently found out that pine nuts can leave a nasty bitter taste in your mouth!
This is what I found from wikipedia re: Pine nuts
Risks of eating pine nuts
The eating of pine nuts can cause serious taste disturbances, developing 1-3 days after consumption and lasting for days or weeks. A bitter, metallic taste is described. In general, a minority of pine nuts on the market present this problem. Though very unpleasant, there does not seem to be a real health concern.
This phenomenon was first described in a scientific paper in 2001. Since the article, experiences of the phenomenon have been reported by hundreds of people worldwide (US, Canada, South Africa, Finland, Iceland, Germany, Ireland and many more).
In the US, most of the pine nuts available in the markets, come from China, Spain, Portugal, Russia, Vietnam, and Korea. It actually takes a while for these products to get here and the reason why these pine nuts leave such a bitter, mettalic taste in our mouth is because they have already gone “bad” or “rancid”.
I don’t know about you, but why is it when there is a food scare, “China” always seem to be right smack in the middle?
You can’t tell just by looking at the packaging if the pine nuts you have are already rancid. Some have eaten or snacked on pine nuts, but suffered no ill effects, but there are some who do, and the numbers are growing.
The good thing about this is that this bitter taste dissapears in a few days.
For some it may take weeks for the bitter taste to disappear. One known alternative to dull this bitter taste is by slowly drinking tomato juice. Just let the tomato juice stay in your mouth for a few minutes before you gulp it down. It may not completely wash away all the bitter taste, but it won’t be half as bad as it was.
If you still want to make pesto, but can’t use your pine nuts. Other alternative include, walnuts, peanuts, or almonds. Here is a recipe from Foodista using walnuts:
So be ever vigilant when you eat outside.when buying pine nuts, read the packaging carefully, or ask your grocer where they get their pine nuts from. There is no report yet if eating pine nuts can be deadly, but better be safe than sorry!