Bird’s nest can be classified into several different types. It can be separated based on their origin, their colour, external features, edibility, cleanliness and their quality. The two common categories of bird’s nest are cave bird’s nest and house bird’s nest.
Cave bird’s nest
The cave bird’s nest, as its name suggests, is built in the natural habitat of swiftlets, on the walls of limestone caves. The cave bird’s nest is usually yellowish or beige in colour due to the absorption of minerals found within the cave, and it is more solid. Compared to house bird’s nest, it contains more feathers and impurities. While they require longer soaking time, they produce a better fragrance and taste.
House bird’s nest
The house bird’s nest on the other hand, are built within modern swiftlet houses. The nest is built on beams and walls of the swiftlet house. The workers of these houses check the nests regularly and will only harvest when the time is right. Like the cave bird’s nest, the house bird’s nest also contains impurities that must be removed and cleaned before it is ready to be consumed. The house bird’s nest is usually higher in quality as compared to the cave bird’s nest, as they contain less feathers and impurities. They can expand better in water and taste smoother, however it cannot be stewed for too long.