How many of you are turned off by the thought of eating bird’s nest? NO…you gotta be kidding me! Because I absolutely love them in spite of their unsavory origins. My mom used to prepare them quite regularly for me when I was growing up and naturally, I was influenced by her belief in their health and beauty benefits. Come to think of it, I really miss the taste of her double-boiled bird’s nest soup with ginseng slices and egg. *SLURPS*
Made from bird’s saliva
For those who don’t know, edible bird’s nest is the nest made purely of swiftlet’s saliva secretion. This nest is usually found in caves near shoreline cliffs or under eaves of house and is hand-collected. Hairs and filth are then removed from the nest before manufacturing.
Before you say “Eeeewk” to its origins, you may want to know that bird’s nest is widely acknowledged to have health benefits amongst Chinese. Smokers and those prone to respiratory problems, coughs and colds can benefit from regular consumption of this food because it helps cleanse lungs and regulates the respiratory system. The food also helps to stimulate appetite, aid digestion and provides a unique pre-digested form of protein and nutrients to speed up recovery from chronic illnesses.
Because bird’s nest provides a “cooling and nurturing” effect, it supposedly prevents internal dryness and helps to maintain youthful skin as well as a smooth and wrinkle-free complexion. According to a medical research reported by Hong Kong Chinese University, the cell division enzyme and hormone of bird’s nest can promote reproduction and rebirth of human cells.
Frequent consumption result in fairer and radiant skin. Fann Wong, who has fair porcelain skin, is apparently a huge consumer of such a delicacy although I can’t vouch that her clear complexion is a direct result of her bird’s nest diet.
Bottles for convenience
I remember my mom used to buy the bird’s nest from the medical halls. They came in different grades at different prices. But in recent years, this delicacy is sold in bottles for easy consumption. I tried a few of them in the past but I don’t like them much. It could be psychological but I somehow perceive them to be of a lower quality.
Claims of beautifying skin
So I was a bit lukewarm when I received Brand’s Bird’s Nest with Rock Sugar, positioned as a beauty food that can help maintain youthful skin as well as a smooth and wrinkle-free complexion. I was skeptical about its claims and taste even though it is said to be made of premium quality bird’s nest and is all-natural with no preservatives or artificial flavoring.
A tad too sweet
To be fair, it isn’t awful and I could taste bits of the bird’s nest. I’m just reminded of those bowls of bird’s nest in Bangkok going for 100 or 200 baht that I used to eat for desserts. But Brand’s could cut down on the amount of rock sugar in each bottle because it is rather sweet. Afterall, it is positioned as a health and beauty product.
Seaweed as stabilizer
According to Brand’s, their bird’s nests are harvested from Indonesia and Thailand. They are then soaked and cleaned before being boiled with rock sugar solution under a specially developed hygienic process that seals in the flavor and goodness. While no preservative is used, Brand’s Bird’s Nest uses a natural form of seaweed as its stabilizer.
Little known benefits
Well, these came complimentary to me and so I won’t complain too much. But I won’t fork out S$49.90 to pay for six bottles with bits of bird’s nest because I don’t know how much benefits I can derive from paying that amount. I ran a quick search on the topic and don’t see much testimonies on bottled bird’s nest and even the few I came across were referring to concentrated bird’s nest.
Get a free CNY hamper
Anyway, for my readers in Singapore, you can get a box of these bird’s nest along with a box of essence of chicken in the Brand’s CNY Gift Hamper if you’re the first 20 to flash this invite on your handphone at Brand’s roadshow at Chevron House today and tomorrow from 10.30am to 3.30pm. Check them out if you’re in the area, and if you do get your hands on the hamper, remember they’re best eaten when they’re served lukewarm.