Tuesday, June 23, 2009
In one of my weaker moments while wandering in through Essex Market in the Lower East Side, I stopped by Roni-Sue's Chocolates to purchase a bag of bacon buttercrunch. For those that haven't been keeping track of the bacon-obsessed New York food media, the bacon buttercrunch candy from Roni-Sue is toffee that has been mixed with pieces of fried bacon and covered with chocolate, pine nuts, and chile. At least too me, the candy sounded like a great idea at the time.
The candy, while not nearly deserving of the hype that some of the major food blogs have given it, was pretty good. The toffee was bursting with butter flavor. The bacon, thank goodness, was added with a light hand, and the chiles gave a nice bite. The pine nuts, while a good idea, could have been toasted more so that they were a bit crunchier. After finishing off the bag with my significant eater, I was glad I tried Roni-Sue's bacon buttercrunch, but doubted that I would try it again. This bacon and chocolate candy just didn't do it for me. Little did I know.
A day after eating the candy, I noticed that everything I ate tasted very bitter. Bitter oatmeal, bitter salad for lunch, and bitter chicken for dinner. I assumed my taste buds were just having a case of the Mondays. I mentioned this oddity to my significant eater who complained that everything tasted bitter to her as well. We had eaten three completely different meals during the day. That's so cute that we have the same afflictions at the same time, I thought.
Two days after eating the bacon buttercrunch, my significant eater and I continued to be afflicted by an awful bitter, metallic taste after every meal. Being the occasional hypochondriac that she occasionally is, my girlfriend decided to do some research to find out what could possibly have ruined both of our taste buds. After ruling out that both of us had come down with oral cancer at the exact same time, she came across this blurb from Wikipedia that mentions: 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." Damn you, bacon buttercrunch and its bad batch of pine nuts! Thankfully, the metallic taste was not a symptom of any grave danger we were in, but we have both now all but sworn off pine nuts (except in pesto, ahem). And we have definitely sworn off all combinations of bacon and chocolate for good. Taste buds and sanity back in tact, I can easily say that I will never again succumb to the gluttonous allure of bacon and chocolate again.