What Do You Mean by Bird’s Nest Soup?
It is a delicacy linked to the extinction of swiftlets. One small region of Southeast Asia provides the whole world’s supply of nests for bird’s nest soup. Men climb three hundred feet up vines and bamboo poles and risk their lives to harvest the nests of birds called swiftlets. These birds fly into huge caves to make nests with their own spit or saliva, which are harvested for human consumption.
The type or grading of bird`s nest depends on the type of bird as well as the diet of the bird. It differs in color from white to dark brown. But the birds are becoming more rare because people steal too many of their nests. They are particularly prized in Chinese culture due to their rarity, and supposedly high nutritional value and exquisite flavor. The Chinese believe that it promotes good health, especially for the skin. The nests have been used in Chinese cooking for over 400 years, most often as bird’s nest soup.
At over $ 2500 a pound, these nests of hardened spit are among the world’s most costly foods. A hundred tons of dainty little birds’ nests go into Hong Kong’s soup pots every year—more than the weight of a thousand people.