No, I’m not referring to Corey Hart’s song about wearing sunglasses at night — I’m talking about vegetables and fruits that are classified as “nightshade foods“. My coworker mentioned this term to me a couple of months ago when the topic of my food allergies came up, and he gave me a list of things that fall under this category:

  • tomatoes
  • eggplant
  • bell peppers
  • cherries
  • tomatillos
  • potatoes

At that moment, I gasped when I read potatoes and thought, “Well, I know for sure that I’m allergic to the first five but I can’t — I just CAN’T! — be allergic to potatoes too!”

So I kind of ignored the fact that they were on the same list and went on eating potatoes for the next couple of months.

Itch here, rash there … but it had to be something else. It couldn’t be the french fries I ate with my burger. It couldn’t be the mashed potatoes. It must’ve been the carrot that touched my plate. Or the pickle that came on the same plate. Or maybe they used corn syrup in something.

I was in denial.

Then one day I ate some fries at lunch time and later that night broke out pretty badly. (I still think the hot and humid weather contributed a little bit to it.) And then at that moment I had to confess to my husband about my knowledge of nightshades and that sadly, potatoes fall under that category.


So for the past week and a half, I’ve been staying away from potatoes. I can’t say that my skin has miraculously gone from being dry and flaky to perfect, but I don’t think I’ve broken out very badly either. It is still hot and humid so I find myself getting pretty sweaty, and I have eaten a couple of questionable things too (cucumbers? maple syrup? pancakes?) so who knows. But I think I’ll continue another week without them (it’s been difficult, let me tell you!) and then maybe have them again one day and see what happens.

As a result – and this was the 2nd day of not eating them – I asked for brussel sprouts instead with my burger at the Indo last week. I have to say, they have the friendliest and most patient waitstaff there. Plus, they kind of know me by now so I think that helps. 🙂 I asked for a bunless burger with the brussel sprouts instead of fries, cooked medium rare, with no tomatoes, but with swiss cheese, mushrooms, grilled onions and garlic aoili. It turned out perfectly!

Okay, oops, forgot to say no pickle but my order was already pretty complicated! The burger was cooked perfectly and all of the flavors went together so well. Without the fries it was a little bit more on the healthier side.

Anyway, it will be really sad if I can’t eat potatoes any more but I’ll have to try them again in a week to see if anything drastic happens.


3 thoughts on “nightshades

  1. No! Well, it could be a lot worse. At least you aren't allergic to rice or gluten and can still eat pasta and bread. I think that would be the toughest for me. And you also know that you aren't Irish.

  2. Wow. Potatoes? French fries? You might as well have asked me to give up sex. I admire your resolve to be allergy free and give up potatoes. It will just make your future posts more interesting. 🙂

  3. Pingback: maybe tomatoes | ShortcakeScraps

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