If you’re new to the world of edible bird’s nests, then you’re probably a little overwhelmed by the choices you have.
There are dozens of websites selling bird’s nests, and all of them seem to have varying ratings for their nests. What is a AAAA nest on one site could be a AAA nest on another site.
While there’s no uniformity in the way bird’s nests are graded, there are basic principles to know which types of edible bird’s nests are the best
Best Color for Bird’s Nests
When you’re shopping for bird’s nests based on color, the best edible nest you can buy is red bird’s nests. These nests make up a very small segment of the market; their rarity lends not only to them being sought-after but costing more than all other colors.
The color of the nest was, for many centuries, attributed to a bird’s blood mixed with saliva – this is why they’re also known as blood nests. However, science has revealed the nests get their color as minerals absorbed into the nest mix with air and water.
Reputable sites will sell legitimate red nests, but there are fakes sold by companies who color white nests with sodium nitrate. These nests can be dangerous to your health. You know you have fake blood nests if the color noticeably bleeds while soaking them.
Best Origin for Bird’s Nests
Bird’s nest come from one of two places: in the wild or from farms.
Some will argue that nests from the wild are the best. These nests are harvested from caves or cliffs and, according to some, have a unique flavor profile seasoned by sea air and rock mineral.
This isn’t always the case, as some limestone caves that house swallow nests that don’t get much contact with sea air.
On the other hand, farm-grown bird’s nests are harvested in urban areas, but this doesn’t affect their flavor as much as you would think. The taste nuances of bird’s nests tends to come from the swallow’s saliva.
A great example of this is are red bird’s nests – though some of them get their red color from rock minerals, they don’t have much of a different taste from red nests harvested from farms.
Best Website for Bird’s Nests
Golden Nest has an excellent customer rating and is, according to those who’ve purchased nests from us, the brand they’d choose over every other American brand.
In fact, 98% of our customers would recommend our edible bird’s nests to friends and family.
Best Grade of Bird’s Nests
How a bird’s nest is graded has a big influence on its price – our AAA nests demand high prices because they are of the highest quality.
Most sites will give their best nests a AAA rating and some will do AAAA. Whenever you’re browsing a website for bird’s nests, examine their highest-grade nests very closely.
Is the cup shape a perfect half-moon? Do the fibers seem unorganized or are they flat and uniform? These are indications that the nests are, in fact, high quality and deserve their rating.
As a rule of thumb, the more A’s a nest gets, the better the quality.
Best Overall Bird’s Nest on the Market
The best bird’s nests combine vibrant colors, excellent quality and are sold by reputable websites. These nests will command the highest prices – often more than $700 for a family-size box – but are worth every penny.
The best bird’s nests on the market will never disappoint. Their numerous health benefits and beautiful texture are just two reasons why edible bird’s nests are known as the “Caviar of the East”.