Saturday, July 11, 2009

Ginseng Birds Nest Drink

Your first concern upon encountering a drink made out of birds nest may be the birds nest content. And you'd be right. As a hardened chunk drinker I decided to ignore this factor and press on, only pausing to research birds nests after I'd finished it.

DwC 143

Like other Ginseng based drinks there is a very nice, sweet, refreshing taste that goes down well on a hot summers day. The ginseng root provides most of the chunkiness, although it is difficult to get it all out of the can and this has lead to a knock in the chokeability score.

DwC 145

The birds nest mostly dissolves and lends a cloudiness to the drink along with a few soft strands of, um, nest. At this point we can no longer put off discussing the nest.

Wikipedia tells me, "Bird's nest soup is a delicacy in Chinese cuisine. A few species of swift, the cave swifts, are renowned for building the saliva nests used to produce the unique texture of this soup. The edible bird's nests are among the most expensive animal products consumed by humans."

Among the most expensive animal products consumed by humans, eh? Hold on, did someone mention saliva? That's not how they phrase it in the ingredients.

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Reading on. "The nests are composed of interwoven strands of salivary laminae cement. The white nests and the “red blood” nests are supposedly [my emphasis] rich in nutrients which are traditionally believed to provide health benefits, such as aiding digestion, raising libido, improving the voice, alleviating asthma, improving focus, and an overall benefit to the immune system."

I am doubtful of some of these claims. For starters any potential aid to my digestion was mitigated the second I read that I was drinking bird saliva. And to be honest I can't help but wonder about the ecological implications of harvesting the nests. Now I'm not particularly squeamish and I'm certainly no veggie, but I would think twice about what's in this before trying it again. However, I would have to conclude that it hit the spot and went down very well.

Edit: This shows what a nest factory looks like