Bird's Nest Drink

Bird's Nest Drink
Edwin Goei

Name: Nature Bird's Nest Drink

Origin: Vietnam

Found at: T&K Food Market, Westminster

Cost: $0.79

Ingredients:

Water, Sugar, White Fungus, Agar, Sodium Bicarbonate, Bird's Nest, Flavour.

Why I Bought It:
A few things on the can made this an unresistable buy. First of all, c'mon. Bird's nest is an already wacky food in and of itself; but in a canned drink? That's plain bat-spit* crazy; or more accurately, swift-spit, since that's what bird's nest is: the dried-out saliva of a cave-dwelling swift.

Bird's Nest Drink
Edwin Goei

Then there's the other words on the can. "Economical"? Well, sure. I can't argue there. For the price I paid, it definitely is economical, since bird's nest is considered one of the most prohibitively expensive delicacies on Earth. Then there's "with fungus". Because, well, if you're going to have bird's nest, why not have it with fungus.

But what threw me in most for a loop was the labeling which indicated that it was ISO 9001: 2000 certified. Were they talking about the metal can? Or the drink inside? I hope both. Because if there's one thing that the International Organization for Standardization should be involved in, it's bird's nests. And I'm not being facetious. We are talking about bird spit here.

*mispelled deliberately because I know kids who read this column.

Tasting Notes:
If you're not into mucilaginous textures in your beverages, you're not going to like this. To pour it out is to wish you didn't. Because apart from being very sweetly perfumy, the liquid is thick, viscous, and slimy. Then there are the chunks, which float suspended like fruit cocktail in Jell-O, except these bits are probably the fungus that was mentioned in the fine print.  Or it could be the bird's nest, which even if it was detectable, would be tasteless.

Once you get past the texture, it's actually quite delicious. Subtle and faintly sugary, it's not just for the birds.


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