Whether you are a seasoned connoisseur of the high-end asian delicacy known as edible swiftlet bird nests or just discovering this amazing collagen-rich treat, there are quite a lot of variables that will differentiate one nest from another. Today, we will review a few of the more popular types of bird's nests available on the market so you can shop like a pro and impress your friends next time the topic of edible bird's nest comes up.
While all types of bird’s nests offer rich nutritional values, different types of bird’s nests have different colors, origins, and textures. Moreover, there are different types of bird’s nest grade levels and shapes. At Golden Nest, we offer four main types of edible bird’s nests. The four types of bird’s nests are:
- Red bird’s nest or Blood bird’s nest
- Gold bird’s nest
- White bird’s nest
Each bird nest type exhibits different colors, grade levels, and shapes. Learn how each bird nest is different from one another!
If you’ve heard of bird’s nest soup, then you’ve probably seen photos of eager – and sometimes unsure – diners lifting to their mouth a spoonful of broth mixed with gelatinous nest fibers.
What you probably don’t know is that there are multiple types of bird’s nests that vary based on where they were harvested and what color they are. At Golden Nest, we sell four different types of nests: red, gold, white and wild.
1. Red Bird’s Nest
Red bird’s nest, also known as the blood bird’s nest, is the rarest and most luxurious, expensive, and demanded bird nest. These bird nests are originally discovered in caves across Southeast Asia. Red bird’s nests are highly sought after because of their fabulously vibrant crimson that’s unseen in other types of bird’s nests.
There are several hypotheses on how red bird’s nests have their crimson color. The original hypothesis was that red bird’s nests have a crimson appearance because the swallows’ saliva that’s used to build a red bird’s nest contains blood. When swallows work diligently to construct multiple nests strand by strand over their lifetime, they overwork and their saliva glands are strained and blood starts to seep out. That blood mixes with saliva and the result is a crimson-colored liquid.
The most recent hypothesis that scientists have come up with on why red bird’s nests are red is related to the swallows’ diet. One of the swallows’ favorite foods in its Southeast Asian habitat is the lotus flower, a common plant with round seeds that can have a dark red hue. The swallows snack on these seeds and the red color from the seeds is tainted on their mouths. The swallows then fly back to their home to build a bird nest. The swallows’ special diet and micro-climate in areas in Indonesia give these nests their special blood color that doesn’t naturally accrue in areas outside of Southeast Asia. So that’s why the red bird’s nests are exceptionally rare to come across in nature and even harder to harvest in farms.
2. Gold Bird’s Nests
Gold bird’s nests are also an incredibly sought-after bird nest across the globe. Gold nests account for approximately 10% of the world’s bird nests’ supply, making gold bird’s nest the second most demanded type of bird’s nest on the market.
The background of gold bird’s nests’ fabulously royal and golden color is similar to red bird’s nests. Swallows construct bird nests in nesting houses in Southeast Asia, and the nests get their color from the swallow’s special diet, resulting in an elegant gold color that is impossible to naturally recreate outside of Southeast Asia.
This type of bird’s nests is wondrous for formal or special dinners because the golden color of gold bird’s nests add more elegance to the dinner.
3. White Bird's Nest
White bird’s nests are the most commonly found bird nests in the market because they are more easily farmed. Although white bird’s nests are more easily purchased, they aren’t any less nutritious or lesser in quality than other types of bird nests. In fact, Grade AAA white nests are incredibly high quality and smooth in texture because Grade AAA white nests are easier to farm. (We’ll discuss Grade AAA and other grade levels further down in this article.)
White bird’s nests are widely regarded as the “Caviar of the East” and are beloved for their unique taste and smooth texture. Although white bird’s nests are constructed the same way as other types of bird nests such as red bird’s nests or gold bird’s nests, the chemical reactions that take place with red bird’s nests or gold bird’s nests don’t occur with white bird’s nests. Moreover, white bird’s nest becomes translucent when it’s soaked in water.
Different Types of Bird Nest Grades
In addition to bird’s nest colors, bird’s nests also differ based on grades. Learn about the four bird’s nest grades and how they differ.
Bird’s Nest Grade AAA - Grade AAA nests are the most prized and rare bird’s nests of all because they’re perfectly shaped bird nests. Grade AAA nests have the perfect cup shape, even ‘strands’ of saliva, and contain minimal natural impurities such as dirt and feathers.
Bird’s Nest Grade AA - Grade AA nests also have perfect cup shapes and concentration levels but contain slightly some impurities. Impurities don’t diminish the actual bird saliva quality. Impurities only present more grime to clean up. Luckily, Golden Nest’s team works diligently to hand-wash each nest to ensure that you will receive contaminant-free bird nests. Hand-washing bird nests take an incredible amount of time and attention to detail, but we are committed to offering the best natural bird’s nest products to our beloved customers. We use traditional hand-washing techniques to prevent consumers from eating bird’s nests that contain bleach and other harmful chemicals that other bird’s nests producers use during the cleaning process.
Bird’s Nest Grade A - If you’re looking for bird’s nests that are both economical and high quality, Grade A nests are exactly what you need. Grade A bird’s nests are considered as one of the most economic options for those who are simply looking for high quality nests on a budget. We’re proud and ecstatic to offer Grade A bird nests to our customers because we believe that authentic, quality bird’s nests should be available to everyone of all economic backgrounds.
Bird’s Nest Grade C - Grade C bird’s nests contain more impurities and require more diligent cleaning. Grade C bird’s nests offer the same quality as the Grade AAA nests, but only with less bird saliva because of the thorough cleaning process.
Different Types Of Bird’s Nests Based On Shape
There are four main different types of bird nest shapes. The four bird nest shapes are:
- Cup: This bird nest shape refers to a whole bird nest that ranges from large to extra large size. This is the highest grade of bird nests.
- Triangle: Triangular shaped bird nests triangle shaped and are medium in size.
- Strips: This bird nest shape refers to broken pieces from a whole bird nest.
Caked shaped bird nests are bird’s nest pieces that are shaped into the size and shape of a biscuit.
Different Types Of Bird’s Nests Based on Purity
While all bird nests are incredibly healthy and nutritious, they consist of various components in their original forms. There are three types of bird birds prior to the cleaning process:
- Premium Bird’s Nests. This type of bird nests consists of 95% bird saliva and 5% feathers. At Golden Nest, all of our bird’s nests are premium bird’s nests or above.
- Feather Prime Nests. This bird nest type consists of 50% bird saliva and 50% feathers.
- Grass Nests. This bird nest type consists of 5% bird saliva with grass and twigs.
The Premium Raw Bird’s Nest undergoes a thorough hand-washing process to ensure complete removal of natural impurities, and then you can get the best quality bird’s nest that consists of 100% bird nest saliva. This type of bird nests is ready to be cooked because it encompasses 100% bird saliva and doesn’t contain any feathers or natural impurities. Our Simply Swift bird’s nest is made from 100% all natural bird’s nests and is ready to cook with easy preparation.
Different Types Of Bird’s Nests Based On Terrain
Edible bird’s nests are harvested from only two types of terrain:
- Farm Bird’s Nest: Swifts construct their bird nests inside a man-made house located near a sea where the environment is ideal and more controlled. This farming method leads to fewer impurities and feathers in the bird’s nest. In addition, farming is a more sustainable and responsible approach to sourcing bird nests. All of Golden Nest’s bird nests are sourced in the most responsible way from cruelty-free farms. Our farming method promotes the well-being of Indonesian swallow’s population and assures that the quality of the bird nests are of the utmost quality.
- Cave Bird’s Nest: Swifts build their nests on mountain and rock caves and cliffs near the sea. The natural climate and environment generally harden the texture of a bird’s nest. Cave nests usually contain more foreign materials and feathers than farmed bird’s nests.
Why Do Customers Shop at Golden Nest for Edible Bird’s Nests?
Some bird’s nest brands cut corners in the bird’s nest production process because these companies can earn higher margins on their bird’s nests sales. This corner cutting approach leads these companies to use harmful chemicals to clean the nests quickly or to dye white bird’s nests and transform these nests to become red bird’s nests. Moreover, many of these companies poach the nests using unethical methods.
Golden Nest has always prided itself in sourcing its nests from cruelty-free swallow houses, where workers take diligent care in harvesting nests. In addition, our bird’s nests are cleaned by hand with the utmost concern for hygiene and safety.
Want to buy edible bird’s nests? Shop at our online bird’s nest shop and view our wide selection of premium bird’s nests!