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Swallow’s nest or swiftlet nest is the healthiest product that can be consumed and be used by human. This product is all-age-consuming and good for its beneficial. The edible bird’s nests are become the most expensive animal products consumed by humans. The nests have been used in Chinese cooking for over 400 years, most often as bird’s nest soup or other variants of herbal and medical foods.

There are three different types of edible swallow nest: cave swiftlet, the feathered swallow and grass swiftlet. Swallow nest is also classified according to its colors: white, blood-red and yellow, even grey and purple.

Different colors have different grade in selling but indeed having the same beneficial.
Bird’s nest is the food of the rich. It contains a cell division inducing hormone and an epithelial growth factor that can stimulate the growth and division of cells, thereby enhancing tissue growth, cellular regeneration and cell-mediated immunity in humans.

The Swiftlet bird or scientifically named Collocalia, or known as Walet in Indonesia, is belongs to the Apodidae family, which is not the same as the common Swallow bird. Swiftlet birds live in flocks along tropical seaside and consume wild insects.

The average body length of a Swiftlet is 9 centimeters, about half the size of a Swallow. Swiftlet has a shorter and rectangular-sharped tail while Swallow has a longer and forked tail. The average life span of a Swiftlet is about 15 to 18 years. Its age influences the quality of its nest. In general, the older the bird is, the more simmer-tolerant the nest is.
Swallows live in the northern part of the earth, commonly seen in China, India, Europe and North America. Swallows make their nest from tiny tree branches, dry grass, or even mud, and their nests are certainly not edible. Meanwhile, an edible-nest swiftlets, which can only be found in the tropical coastal areas, make their nests by regurgitating the saliva.

The swiflets make their nest by producing it from their saliva, produced by a pair of large salivery glands under the tongue, which can be hardened when it exposed to air. The precious swiftlet nests are therefore actually the dried saliva of swiftlets, and they are the only swallow’s nests constructed entirely from saliva. It is the only edible swallow’s nest beneficial to human body.

Hence, swallow’s nest is also referred to as bird’s nest. These edible nests built by swiftlets are found in caves and cliffs in offshore islands of North Borneo, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines. Small colonies of swiftlets are also found in some remote areas of Hainan and Fukien of China. The nests are built during the breeding season by the male swiftlet over a period of 35 days. They take the shape of a shallow cup stuck to the cave wall. In addition to cave swallows, there are also house swallows farmed in these areas.

Swallow nests that originate from different places have different textures.
The edible bird’s nests are become the most expensive animal products consumed by humans. The nests have been used in Chinese cooking for over 400 years, most often as bird’s nest soup or other variants of herbal and medical foods.

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Image published by baligraph on 2011-06-27 04:39:05 and used under Creative Commons license.

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