Metallic taste in gazpacho

I made a pretty standard batch of gazpacho last night: tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, red bell pepper, water-soaked sourdough levain, sherry vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. My partner, who admittedly has a really keen palate, tasted one bite and immediately reeled from the metallic taste. He's had all of the ingredients before separately, but somehow the blend just didn't work for him. I thought it tasted fine. Any thoughts on what caused that kind of taste for him and any ideas on how or if that taste can be adjusted?



Hubber February 14, 2013
Droplet, I'm exactly the same. For some reason, my mother and I are unable to eat any seafood/fish with either tomato or cucumber (or both) - they leave a foul taste in my mouth and it's liking I'm eating food that has gone off even if it's fresh. In contrast, this problem doesn't seem to occur when the tomato is cooked.
vvvanessa October 21, 2012
So interesting. Thanks for all the great input. I'll have to try a batch without seeds and see what happens. It's fascinating how dramatically different our palates are; I cannot taste the metallic thing at all, even when I try, and my partner gets the taste on contact and can't shake it from his mouth afterward.
susan G. October 19, 2012
According to Chris Kimball, the seeds in tomatoes have 3X more flavor than the flesh! (,-stop-seeding-tomatoes) Sounds like pulverizing may be the villain here. I use a simple food processor, and never noticed this, but try low tech and some judicious paring per Sam. Interesting clues from droplet -- has he ever had a similar experience?
Sam1148 October 19, 2012
@susan g
No, but I have a chef friend that's very anti seeds in tomato sauces and says it's bitter to him and not as sweet. I never seed salad or sliced tomatoes..but (sometimes) will seed tomato sauces, if it's just a 10 min pan sauce;; I think it makes a smoother sweeter sauce. I understand that Roma tomato seeds don't react that way in sauces. I think, as mentioned, it might be like Cilantro to some people.
Droplet October 19, 2012
Vvvanessa, I've experienced the same thing when being served cooked fish with uncooked tomatoes (say a grilled or roasted mackarel with fresh tomato salad). Each by itself tastes great but combining them in a mouthful leaves a terrible taste on my palate. I thought it was just me, but when I have asked other people, I've gotten poitive answers from some of them too. So I guess it is similar to the known cilantro phenomenon. The way it ties to your case in my mind is that olive oil, from a chemical perspective (and taste too) relates closely to the fat composition of fish fats. That is especially true if you take a robust first pressing extra virgin. I have no clue what you used, but if it was one of those, that's probably what did it once you combined them in a blender. My second guess would be a cucumber that has a bitter-ish end which got in there.
Sam1148 October 19, 2012
Just cut them in wedges, and use a spoon to scrape out the seeds; you could press the pulp through a strainer with the back of a spoon to save more of the liquid bits you scoop out with the seeds---leaving the seeds behind and saving the juice and pulp. Discard the rib bits.
For the the same, or use "English" cucumbers. The core of the tomato can be bitter use a paring knife to scoop out the top stem part..and trim off the 'ribs' when you slice and process. The big stem part (Upper and lower) of a tomato is especially bitter if you just toss a whole one in a vitamix. Look for a something called a 'tomato shark' to help scoop and remove those.
Sam1148 October 19, 2012
More...intact seeds might not be detected on the pallet for slices of tomatoes/cucumbers...but releasing chemicals in the seeds with the pulverizing--could throw off the flavor for a super taster. Same with Apple seeds which is far more pronounced if you have a slice with the seeds..same with grapes with seeds.
vvvanessa October 19, 2012
Yes, all the seeds went in. I never would have thought that that could be the reason for the metallic taste! I'll have to make another batch where I chop with a knife only and see what difference that makes. Thanks!
Sam1148 October 19, 2012
Ahh..did you use the seeds in the vitamix? Those can make a bitter taste which I would suppose someone could describe as a metallic. The vitamix would pulverize those into the soup, same with the cucumber seeds.
Sam1148 October 19, 2012
Did you use an aluminum pan, or strainer/food mill to make the soup....or any aluminum that contacted the soup. The high acids in Tomatoes will react with aluminum and give it a metallic taste...or discolor the product.
vvvanessa October 19, 2012
The only contact with metal the soup had was with the stainless blades of my knife and the blades of the Vitamix, and it was a very brief whiz through the machine.

More gazpacho for me, I guess!
vvvanessa October 18, 2012
Those are all great thoughts, though I don't think any of them is actually responsible for the taste he's getting. I think his tastebuds are just being wacky. Thank you for your thoughtful answers!
Reiney October 17, 2012
In addition to the above suggestions, if you mixed (or stored/served) the guac in a metal bowl that can occasionally provoke a slightly tinny taste.
Louisa N. October 17, 2012
This is curious. Is there a possibility the olive oil was rancid? There's also a strange phenomenon known as "pine mouth". I've had it and it taints everything you taste for up to 2 weeks with a metallic flavor. It's associated with pine nuts. Good luck! Perhaps he'll taste the gazpacho tonight and it will be delicious. Here's hoping!
Monita October 17, 2012
The metallic taste could be coming from some medication or vitamin he may be taking which can come out when eating.
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