Pine Nuts “pine mouth”

Think twice when you next buy pine nuts, the elongated types (Korean pine) you see in most supermarkets because they are often grown in China. I rarely use pine nuts and frown wherever I think about the chemicals used to in China to propagate pine nuts, or the massive storage used to keep them. In other cases they mix pine nuts unfit for consumption. which causes “pine mouth” a disorder that lasts for weeks leaving you with a bitterness.

China which supplies most of the world’s pine nuts has admitted some exporters have been mixing the Pinus koraiensis variety with the cheaper but inedible Pinus armandii. The Food Standards Agency said it had been told of between 10 and 15 cases of pine mouth every month in Britain since 2009. Scientists have been investigating the cause of the short-term illness since it was first reported in 2001 and it is clear that certain Pine nuts cause “pine mouth” and are unfit for human consumption.

This is what you want to buy if you can find them, Italian pine nuts, (stone pine nuts) the pear-shaped types that are indigenous to Italy, or other European types grown in Spain or other Mediterranean regions.