Many people have had a thing or two to say about a wonderful Asian delicacy that I had while I was in Hong Kong: bird saliva…or more commonly called bird’s nest soup. Everyone’s had this to say about it: “Ew!” or “Yuck!” and other such related terms.
This lovely bird on the left is called a swiftlet (no need to get into it’s scientific name because it’s super long) and it is in its nest. The nest of a swiftlet is made, not of twigs, branches and leaves, but of it’s saliva. At certain times of the year, this little bird’s salivary glands expand and produces copious amounts of saliva. This produces thicker, stronger nests which are harvested 3 times a year.
The bird’s nest has a number of benefits on one’s health (plus, it’s yummy). To keep it’s health benefits short and simple, the bird’s nest:
- facilitates growth
- replenishes strength and vital energy
- increases immunity (thereby allowing for a speedy recovery from illness)
- regulates endocrine function
- enhances metabolism
- moisturises the skin
Bird’s nest is expensive but contains numerous health benefits without tasting like medicine. It can be served with milk, rock sugar, oatmeal or may be served in a chicken broth or congee.
While the bird’s nest is made from the saliva of the swiftlet and used as a soup, I don’t see why it should be so…gross to think of as a source of food and nutrition. It is just like any other animal product. Milk, too, is produced within an animal yet we all drink it without a second thought.
If you’re interested in reading up more on the bird’s nest, be sure to check out this site: Natural Nest