We all know bird’s nests are one of the most prestigious ingredients for human consumption due to their rarity, and the difficulty of the harvesting process, both of which makes the dish pricy. Bird’s nests were once consumed only by the Chinese Emperor and the Royal Family as they were believed to prolong lifespan. Besides, they also boast a high nutritional value that contributes to good health, especially the skin, since they contain sialic acid.
Different grades of bird’s nest have been discovered, the use of which depends on the type of the swiftlets as well as their diets. This grading has an effect on the market price. Bird’s nests can cost up to US$ 2,000 per kilogram. This apparent high cost might tempt some unscrupulous people to do evil things in creating imitations of bird’s nests for their own benefit. And to consume these fake products is likely to be dangerous for your health since you cannot know what elements these people have used in their fake bird’s nests. It’s important, therefore, that you know how to tell genuine from fake. The following are seven ways to tell if the bird’s nest you just bought is real or not.
- Transparency. A fake bird’s nest does not look transparent while the genuine article has a semi-transparency quality. It does not have reflective surface.
- Fragility. A genuine bird’s nest is very fragile and you need to carry it gently. It can easily break into small specks, dust-sized pieces. A fake bird’s nest is just as fragile as a genuine one, but it will break into large chunks.
- Shape and Appearance. After soaking it in water for 30 minutes, a genuine bird’s nest starts losing its shape, with the nest fibers easily recognizable (occasionally, the odd feather may be seen too). In a fake bird’s nest, you will see bumpy surface arranged uniformly, and there will be a slight smell of medication.
- Power to Absorb. After soaking for 30 minutes, a real bird’s nest will definitely bloat to about its original size. You will see no significant growth in size for a fake one, but there will be evident signs of foreign particles.
- Coloring. When you soak your bird’s nest in water, the genuine one will not change color, it will remain clear. Discolored water will be evident when you soak a fake one in water due to the artificial coloring it contains.
- Foams. Place your bird’s nest in a bowl and add some water, then stir it. If you see some foam appear on the surface of the water, your bird’s nest is real and the water remains clear. Whereas, in the fake bird’s nest bowl, no foam will appear on the surface. Instead, the water will turn cloudy and murky.
Now you have learnt to differentiate between a genuine bird’s nest and a fake one, you should have no more worries as you include this highly nutritious drink in your daily food consumption. It will help maintain your body’s metabolism, as well as boost your immune and digestive systems. Oh, and your luminous skin too!