Read this before you buy any bird’s nest.
The truth is that bird’s nest comes in different grades and quality. They are commonly consumed as a form of beauty food as it is known to boost one’s complexion, immune system and stimulate cell growth. Despite its popularity, many are unable to differentiate between real bird’s nests from the fakes or differentiate the good grades of bird’s nest available in the market.
How to choose the best quality bird’s nest?
As a general guide, you choose bird nest according to these qualities
- Boat shaped or cup-shaped, with smaller edge size
- Firm texture with thicker strands, Natural ivory white colour (Not too white)
- Clean, with minimal amount of feathers
- By Countries or cave/house types
In this article, we will look at the different grades of bird’s nest and show you how to choose the best quality for you and your loved ones!
Bird’s nest before it is harvested
1.Choosing bird’s nest by shapes
The ideal bird’s nest shapes can be ranked in the following orders
- Boat or Cup shaped – intact, whole nest that maintains the shape and strands.
- Triangle shape- medium sized, triangle pieces of nests, usually 3 or more such pieces from 1 nest.
- Stripes – broken stripes stripped from bird nest
- Cakes form – small, tiny broken pieces of bird’s nest, meshed together in a piece form
Bird’s nests are built on cave walls, or farmhouses walls using the glutinous saliva secreted by swiftlets. Their saliva is rich in protein and amino acid which can assist in the recovery of chronic illness and relieve common ailments such as asthma and coughs.
Cup shape nest
If the swiftlets’ nests can be harvest whole, it commands a higher price as the strands are intact and unbroken. This is why the highest quality of birdnest are usually in boat-shaped or cup-shaped. The price is determined by the size and shape of the nest. The finer and more compact the strands are, the higher the price. The best nests are those curved in the shape of a cup, or like a boat, as shown above.
Second most desired would be in triangle shapes, where 2 or more such pieces come from 1 nest.
After that, stripes of bird’s nests which are intact strands of bird’s nest stripped from broken nests can be bought at a much lower price for a decent quality.
Lastly, cakes form of bird’s nests are made of meshed together tiny pieces of broken bird’s nests. These are the lowest quality and often used for bottled drinks.
2. Choose by bird’s nest textures and colour
Ensure that the bird’s nest feels firm, and the strands should be thicker and tight knit together. If the strands are loose and feels soft, the quality is not the best.
Also, there should be a slight fishy smell for good quality bird’s nest.
For best quality bird’s nest, the best colour is natural ivory white. It should not be too pure, as it would suggest bleaching has occured to give it an unnatural white.
- White – more pure and without minerals from cave walls or farm walls, suitable for all
- Golden Yellow – with minerals absorption from cave walls.
- Red- It is not red from the swiftlets’ blood, but from mineral absorption from certain caves.
Golden and Red types are more rare as they can be harvested only from certain caves in South East Asia and due to the rich mineral content and quality, command a higher price.
Golden and red bird’s nest
The gold and red nests are suitable for pregnant ladies, elderly or recovering patients such as anemia or post-surgery patients who need replenishment for the minerals they lack.
All food and supplements, golden and red nests should be taken in moderation, such as weekly (instead of daily) due to the higher levels of minerals it contains. You may like to seek doctors advice before including golden or red nest as part of your diet.
3. Choosing bird’s nest based on cleanliness
When you buy from merchants, you can ask for these 3 types of quality
- Premium quality nests- (Aerodramus Fuciphagus) – made out of 95% edible saliva and 5% feathers and debris
- Feather Prime Nests- made of 50% edible saliva and 50% feathers and debris
- Grass Nest – made of only 5% edible saliva and 95% of feathers and debris.
Needless to say, the premium quality are the best and fetches the best price. Most brands will have cleaning specialists and you can buy ready-to-cook. There are some types that do required cleaning on your own and it will be much cheaper due to the extra time and effort needed to use a tweezer to remove feathers and debris.
4. Choosing by Countries of Origin.
Where are birds nest from?
Edible bird’s nest are only found in South East Asia. Bird’s nest originating from different countries will differ in taste and quality so it is important for you to note where the bird’s nest is from to justify the price and quality.
Bird nests from these countries are ranked in pricing and quality. You can choose the quality based on the ranks. And needlessly to say, the top rank is the most expensive.
Bird’s nest are from South-East Asian countries
Bird’s nests from Vietnam are of a higher quality due to the unique environmental conditions. They are richer in taste and stronger in aroma. There is limited supply of such high quality bird nest and they command a high global price.
Nests harvested from Thailand are denser, firmer and thicker than normal, and of high quality desired by consumers. These are cave swiftlets’ nests and difficult and low volume to harvest, hence the higher quality and price. They require more time to soak and cook.
The texture of bird’s nest made in Indonesia are softer, smoother. These nests are also cleaner as most are harvested from more accessible caves and farms and prices are generally lower. Most Indonesia nests are of decent quality, and they supply 70% of the world’s demands.
The majority of bird’s nests harvested from Malaysia are from farms and the nests are therefore more affordable and cleaner.
Cave Bird’s Nests are Usually Higher Priced than Farms
Edible bird’s nests are harvested only either from farms specially catered for swiftlets or in caves on cliffs. Regardless of where the nests are harvested from, their nutritional content is there about the same.
The controlled environment of a bird’s nest farm
Farms generally produce much cleaner bird’s nest due to the controlled environments where the nests are built, resulting in a high-quality harvest. Licensed farms also practice sustainable harvesting where the nests are only collected after they are abandoned by the swiftlets.
Cave nest harvesting
Cave nests, on the other hand, are built on the walls of caves and contain more foreign materials and impurities as compared to house nests. Minerals from the walls also tend to seep into the nests, giving the nests it’s golden or red color as harvesters go further into the caves.
Bird’s nests of good quality should be:
- Boat shaped or cup shaped
- Fine and firm texture, red, golden or ivory white colour
- Clean, with minimal feathers or debris.
- From Vietnam, Thailand or Indonesia.
HoneyCity offers the most premium of bird’s nest at the best prices. The Bird’s nests are imported directly from the suppliers in Indonesia and they are carefully selected to guarantee satisfaction.
With a click, you can enjoy the nutritional goodness of premium bird’s nest conveniently delivered right to your doorstep!
We have our bird’s nests listed below for your convenience so satisfy your cravings with HoneyCity today! While stocks last!
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