|Swiftlet nests on a cave wall.|
Most famously used in Birds Nest Soup, the nests turn to a jelly-like consistency when soaked in liquid. They are 60-70% protein, so despite their somewhat gross origins, they're fairly good for you. The health of your bank account is another story.
These nests are sold for around $5000/pound and are a multi-billion dollar business in Asia--selling in countries that traditionally eat them, but also to Asian restaurants in the US and other Western countries.
|Birds Nest Soup|
After harvesting, the nests are cleaned of feathers and other bird remnants. This is painstaking, tedious work all done by hand. All this adds to the great cost. Even crumbs that break off of the nests during cleaning are collected and sold.
So do you have a big celebration coming up? A wedding or anniversary? Come on, spring for some birds nest soup!