Gourmet cruelty? | Daily News

Gourmet cruelty?

What do you get when you combine centuries’ worth of history and lore with violence, politics, and exoticism? One of the most expensive dishes served anywhere around the world embodies all of these elements: Bird’s Nest Soup is a dish of royalty that has a reputation that far exceeds its subtle flavour.

This bizarre food is made from exactly what its name implies - a bird’s nest, a swiftlet’s nest to be exact! As weird as it sounds, it’s considered a delicacy throughout much of Asia and is quite expensive. The price of one bowl of soup can set you back 30 to100 USD.

Found in mountain top caves in pitch-black, sky-high chambers in countries such as China and Malaysia’s Borneo, the nests are reached by ladders and must be carefully selected. The nests are thoroughly cleaned, leaving a hard, crusty shell that’s made completely from the bird’s saliva. The final product has a gelatinous texture and a light, savoury taste, however it doesn’t have any smell and lacks a distinct flavour.

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