What is Bird's Nest?
Considered a delicacy in the Orient, the consumption of Bird's Nest is a privilege reserved for the highest class of individuals in society. Harvested in many parts of Asia including Thailand, Malaysia, and Philippines, Bird's Nest is mostly exported to Hong Kong and the China.
Bird's Nest is an edible nest created by the Swiftlet bird. During the 35 day breeding period that the bird goes through, the male swiftlet bird uses its saliva, along with other items, to create a nest for breeding. The nest is created to look like a shallow cup or suck-shun cup placed on the wall of a cave. The saliva, though moist and in liquid form when produced, will harden into a type of strands. The saliva is considered the cement that holds the entire nest together, and the strands are interwoven throughout the nest. The strands should look almost completely gapless in order to protect the chick during reproduction. Woven into the strands are bits of impurities or items which must be picked out prior to consumption. These impurities can include twigs, mud, or feathers.
The nest is considered to be high in nutrients; especially protiens, calcium, potassium, and other minerals. These nutrients are traditionally used in the aiding of digestion, improving the immune system, or alleviating symptoms of asthma.
Traditionally, Bird's Nest must be cleaned of all large impurities prior to consumption. These impurities can include feathers, twigs, and mud. The process in which the Bird's Nest is cleaned is extremely time consuming and requires a lot of skill in performing. As the process is extremely expensive, there are certain individuals who will use chemicals, including chemical bleach, to clean the Bird's Nest. Most chemicals are unhealth and unethical to us. Thus, when purchasing Bird's Nest, make sure that it is a pure product with no chemical processing.