Why do dairy products leave me with a bad taste?
December 15, 2008 8:15 PM   Subscribe

Why did dairy products suddenly start giving me a horrible aftertaste?

About a week ago I bought some eggnog (Stony Brook). It was delicious, but I noticed a weird lingering bitterish aftertaste, and attributed it to the eggnog being stale. A few days later, I had some cereal with milk (regular corner bodega whatever brand), and noticed the same aftertaste. I thought maybe the milk had gone bad too. On Sunday, I had an ice cream sundae, enjoyed it and then about 5 minutes later, you guessed it--same aftertaste.
What has lead to this phenomenon?

I don't really like drinking milk as is, but like ice cream, eggnog, and cereal with milk, and really want to be able to enjoy them again.
posted by ooklala to Health & Fitness (21 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It's probably your body telling you that, for whatever reason, dairy is now a no-go zone. It will probably fade in time, but I would recommend not eating any dairy until then.
posted by Electrius at 8:42 PM on December 15, 2008

Have you been taking any new medications?
posted by thebrokedown at 8:44 PM on December 15, 2008

Do you have any other symptoms (bloating, gas etc)? I'm thinking lactose intolerance. I have a similar carbohydrate intolerance, to fructose, and one of my earliest symptoms was an unpleasant aftertaste when I'd eat it.
posted by chez shoes at 8:59 PM on December 15, 2008

Do you use a dishwasher that doesn't rinse properly?
posted by kuujjuarapik at 9:11 PM on December 15, 2008

Often refrigerators have particular smells that communicate amongst the food in there. Just one possibility.
posted by koeselitz at 9:21 PM on December 15, 2008

Did you just start doing Bikram yoga? (Or maybe any kind of intense exercise?) I've heard from a few folks that they quit dairy shortly thereafter because it didn't feel good or taste good.
posted by salvia at 9:53 PM on December 15, 2008

Sometimes this happens when I indulge in too much dairy. Also, you might be getting sick. Sad sinuses do weird things to taste buds.
posted by idiotfactory at 11:32 PM on December 15, 2008

I'm voting for lactose intolerance...welome to the club! The easiest way to rule this out is to buy a small box of lactaid tablets and take them before you eat dairy. If the aftertaste disappears, then you have your answer.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 11:56 PM on December 15, 2008

You're probably not lactose intolerant. Milk is a seasonal product, and the cows are probably eating something that changes how the milk tastes.
posted by crazybrave at 2:31 AM on December 16, 2008

Did you switch your toothpaste or mouthwash? Some types have strange flavour interactions with foods.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 3:14 AM on December 16, 2008

You may have a decaying tooth. Happened to me.
posted by planetkyoto at 3:59 AM on December 16, 2008

I've noticed it, too, and I hardly ever consume dairy. Try organic dairy products -- they taste much better to me.
posted by amtho at 4:10 AM on December 16, 2008

This happened to me too about a month ago. For a few days eating anything dairy gave a bad aftertaste. I avoided milk products for about a week. The bad aftertaste didn't reappear once I started using them again. Like crazybrave, I assumed it was just the seasonal change, from fresh grass to silage and hay, in the cow's diet.
posted by plastic_animals at 6:24 AM on December 16, 2008

Many modern dairy products gone old start tasting bitter. Typical example for this household here would be double cream, which I sometimes buy for cooking and for use in my tea, and then tend to forget about. In the old days, cream (and milk) turned sour and that was that - still useful in cooking. But no amount of spices can mask cream gone bitter...
Anyway. Your idea that the eggnog was a little off makes sense.
When this happens to me, I need some days to get rid of the reminiscence of that taste, even in fresh products. Maybe that's happened to you. Wait a week and try again.
posted by Namlit at 7:06 AM on December 16, 2008

I just wanted to point out that I don't think it has anything to do with lactose intolerance. That's something to do with digestion, not taste. I'm lactose intolerant (in fact, I'm close to lactose umbrage...), and I love the taste of milk and milk products. Does nothing to change the taste.

Something else going on, me thinks. I won't offer a guess as to what, however.
posted by qwip at 9:40 AM on December 16, 2008

I find that milky dairy products like milk (duh), puddings and ice cream leave me with such a bad aftertaste that I avoid eating them at all. Cheese doesn't do this. I use soy milk on cereal and just avoid ice cream unless I know I can brush my teeth after.

I don't think I'm lactose intolerant; I eat a great deal of cheese without incident. I don't remember when this started, so I suspect I've always gotten a funny taste from milk.
posted by workerant at 9:43 AM on December 16, 2008

I don't think I'm lactose intolerant; I eat a great deal of cheese without incident. I don't remember when this started, so I suspect I've always gotten a funny taste from milk.

I'm extremely intolerant to the lactose in Milk, Ice Cream and especially Whipping Cream - which will make me feel like I'm going to die. Cheese doesn't bother me, nor does yogurt. The first symptom that I've consumed too much lactose is a sour taste in the back of my throat - followed by awful gas and stomach pains.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 12:02 PM on December 16, 2008

Assuming dairy tasted OK to you until you drank the eggnog, I would look at what was going on for you just before you drank the eggnog. For example, did you have an illness? (Once, when I was just over influenza, my taste changed dramatically, then went back to normal after a week. Illnesses can do strange things to us.)
posted by exphysicist345 at 5:47 PM on December 16, 2008

Are you taking any new medication? For instance, topamax ruins the taste of a lot of foods-for example, soda. I suppose other medications could have similar effects.

Also, if you happen to be female, pregnancy can affect one's taste buds.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:44 PM on December 16, 2008


> You may have a decaying tooth. Happened to me.

Yep, another vote for nasty aftertaste being a symptom of tooth decay, you might want to see your dentist if it doesn't go away.
posted by iivix at 1:39 AM on December 17, 2008

Response by poster: It seems to have gone away, (I avoided consuming dairy for a while).
posted by ooklala at 9:20 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

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