Monday, February 22, 2010

Bird's Nest Rock Sugar Dessert

Bird's nest soup is a Chinese delicacy made from the nests of cave swifts. The nests are made from the swift's saliva during the breeding season. They are in the form of a shallow cup stuck to a cave wall.
Dissolved in water, the nests have a gelatinous texture used in soup. When I was in Chinatown recently with Andrew and Lauren, I bought a package of Bird's Nest Rock Sugar Dessert for a little over $15.00. I really wasn't sure what I was getting.

The package shows bird nests on the front and a pretty thick, textury mixture in the soup/dessert.

The back of the package is a great example of Engrish. It does indicate that the package contains bird's nest from the limestone caves of Sarawak (a Malaysian state on the island of Borneo). It claims to contain 20% bird's nest and 76% rock sugar solution. The inner packaging consisted of a plastic knife and spoon and a plastic bowl covered with a sealed aluminum foil top.

Per the instructions, at least as far as I could discern, I put the plastic bowl in hot water.

After heating for awhile, I opened the bowl to find a very clear liquid that looked little like the liquid on the front of the package.

Dipping in with a spoon, I did find little chunks of gelatinous globs which I assume were bits of bird's nest. As Rachael described it, they had the texture of grapefruit without as strong of a membrane. As far as taste goes, it tasted like warm water with a very weak sweet tinge to it, something like I might expect for someone sick with a bad bellyache.

It was very disappointing. I guess the answer for the weak soup comes from Wikipedia ("Bird's nest soup") which states that edible bird's nests are among the most exensive animal products consumed by humans. It is supposed to provide health benefits, such as aiding digestions, raising libido, improving the voice, alleviating asthma, improving focus and overall benefiting the immune system. I guess that the health benefits may be a reason to have it - because taste is not a good reason.


  1. Hahahaha, that last paragraph sums it all up perfectly!

  2. mann i love bird's nest soup too even IF its made from spit!!! <333

    i eat it like once every monthish and used to bought from website sometimes, my mom went back to hong kong and bought a full suitcase of it cause its cheaper there XD