Sunday, November 16, 2008

How I made my bird nest soup RED?

A little twist to my red bird nest story here....

My elder sister is recovering from some radio-therapy treatment on some tumor growth near her eye. She has been responding well to the treatment fortunately.

I prepared her a bird nest soup when I visited her last weekend. Honestly I don't know how it helps or even if it helps in her recovery process. The fact she enjoyed it was good enough for me.

We have been taught since young that Gogi seeds contain compounds beneficial to our eye sight. Mum would have them in herbal soups once in a while. No harm adding it to the bird nest soup and steam double boiled together!

Goji plant & dried seeds.

You will know without guess work... my bird nest soup did turned reddish!

Actually this is not the first time I tried this concoction. I had it for personal consumption several times before.

Red Bird Nests - are you tempted?

In Chinese it is called "Blood Nests". We all farmers know these are NOT blood nests as is generally perceived. Yet they command a premium price in the market!

How it came about? I don't know. Perhaps it was a rare occurrence in nature found among cave nests. Rarity with demand in market has always been translated into premium prices.

So it has become an established perception, and "Perception is Reality"! Innocent and ignorant consumers continues to be misled by sales talk & the price.

Some have suggested it is due to some minerals in the food the birds consumed or it is chemical compounds that seep into the nest at the nesting points. Some even said it is the combination of ammonia content & humidity that gives the nests the red coloration.

Unscrupulous producers & processors used chemicals to dye the nests!

I pulled out this photo from; look at its bright coloration! Would you believe it is real?

Another claimed to be "house blood bird nests"!

Don't we all know that no bird nest are of the same shape? Isn't it artificial to have them stack together this way in the first place?

I raised the subject to the people at Eka Walet I met the other day. They said the same to me.

I learned there was a time many producers adulterated their bird nests with chemicals to make them RED and damaged the reputation of Indonesian exports for some time. Take a lesson here!

So if someone comes around and sell you the idea of producing blood-nests; use your common sense to judge and not blind by greed.

Guard dogs & security issues of your farm?

One of the concerns every bird nest farmer has is the security of the farm. Shop unit farms and stand alone farms have different set of considerations to safe guard from burglars.

As my new farm is built on agriculture land, it has a large area to be secured. One way is to have guard dogs. P'Moo has 2 rottweilers roaming the ground after dark, even his farm building is just 25M away within his backyard!

His farm is elevated 1M above ground. I asked him for the rational.. he said,
"If there are intruders during the night, the open space below are effective for the dogs to patrol & attack from there. Also with a powerful search light, the whole compound can be scanned & viewed across at ground level rapidly." Hmm.. sensible, I thought!

I do intend to keep rottweilers like him too.

Just came across a few other breeds in the papers recently. These are fearsome dogs considered dangerous to keep.

1) Cane Corso

2) Dongue De Bordeaux

3) Perro De Presa Canario

What's your pick?

Are bird nests really made from saliva?

Well, I have pondered over this a long time..

Much references to edible bird nests are being made of bird's saliva. We hear/read this all the time, is it true or just a misnomer?

If I have not mistaken, read some where a while ago it is a glutinous secretion from glands under the bird's tongue during mating season. So is it accurate to call it saliva?

If bird nests are made of purely saliva, then they are able to made nests all year round.. mating season or not!

Anyone out there can shed some light to this?