Bird's nests are made mainly from the swiftlets’ saliva. It’s rich in protein and amino acid. The Chinese have been consuming bird’s nest since the Qing dynasty. It’s loved for its exquisite taste, and also its ability to promote good health and skin complexion. There are mainly two types of Bird's Nests in the market. The cave nest and the house nest.
Cave nest, as its name suggests, is harvested from the cave. A primitive method of collection was employed by the farmers, and more often than not, posed life-threatening dangers to them in the process of harvesting the nests. As Indonesia saw an increase in living standards and more job opportunities compared to twenty years ago, the number of cave nest farmers plunged drastically. This resulted in a scarcity of cave bird's nest in the market.
House nest comes from man-made houses that are designed to attract swiftlets to build their nests on the ceiling. Such farming methods are easier and more efficient compared to harvesting cave's nest. It is also more hygienic, as the environment can be controlled and maintained. This also allows us to enjoy bird's nest at a cheaper price.
To differentiate these two type of bird's nest is fairly easy. For cave bird's nest, due to the nest being built against cave walls, the nest will absorb the minerals in the rock, and as a result, the edges of the bird's nest will be coloured. There will be a distinct orange-brown colour. Cave bird's nest can be double boiled for a relatively long time compared to house bird's nest. Usual house bird's nest will only need an hour to two for the whole cooking process, but for cave bird's nest, you will have to soak it overnight and double boil for over four to five hours.
Which bird's nest is better, you ask? There has been much research done on this topic, arguing for both sides. Ultimately, there is just one philosophy to adhere to, any tonic has to be taken in a regimented matter. Needless to say, bird’s nest should also be free from any harmful chemicals. At Lao Ban Niang, we will ensure that our bird’s nests are 100% natural, which means that there is no whitening agent, no artificial fragrance, nor any added ingredients while processing the nest.
Choose Lao Ban Niang bird’s nest to know that you are only getting the best.