how much is bird’s nest soup

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Why bird’s nest soup is so expensive

Following is a transcript of the video.

Narrator: Bird nest soup. It’s a gelatinous concoction formed of—you guessed it—bird nests. It is served on the menu at some Chinese eateries in New York City, such as Oriental Garden. But itll cost you.

Cici: For one person it costs $32. 95, and for four people it costs $128.

Abby: And thats normal pricing?

Cici: Yeah, thats totally normal.

Abby: Wow.

Narrator: Since bird nests have been consumed for more than a millennium by people in China, what makes it so expensive? It is thought to possess almost magical abilities, such as the ability to cure cancer and help kids grow taller.

The primary component is the partly dissolved nest of a swiftlet, a tiny bird that is indigenous to Southeast Asia. Swiftlets construct nests on cave walls and cliff faces three times a year using their sticky saliva, where they raise their young. The reason why bird nest soup is so pricey is because these saliva nests are so expensive.

For instance, a few dozen were going for more than a thousand dollars here in Chinatown, New York City.

Up until recently, gathering the nests from the wild was the most popular method of obtaining them.

Creighton: Harvesting nests from caves carries a number of risks. Without much in the way of safety nets or harnesses, they would scale the cave wall and attempt to remove the nests, sometimes reaching heights of several stories.

Narrator: But for many, the risk was worth the reward.

Creighton: Harvesters would frequently attempt to gather as many nests as they could, taking them repeatedly even if they weren’t fully formed.

Storyteller: In certain areas, swiftlets were unable to keep up with the pace of harvest, resulting in a sharp decline in their numbers. In parts of Southeast Asia, the number of swiftlets decreased by as much as 2088% between 201957% and 201997, primarily as a result of overharvesting. And as a result, the price of birds nests skyrocketed.

Creighton: I would say that the cost of bird nests peaked in the early 1990s.

Narrator: Nests were going for as much as $1,000 per pound at that time. Adjusting for inflation, that would be around $2,000 today. Because of their high cost, bird nests have been dubbed the “Caviar of the East.” “.

And they also fueled a new industry. You could call it hospitality.

Many individuals in Southeast Asia began making investments in swiftlet hotels in an attempt to profit from the bird nest trade.

Creighton: People recently discovered that swiftlets would enter empty buildings or, for example, an unoccupied upper story of a building, and they would then use the buildings as their nesting places. Then, over time, some rumors started to circulate regarding how much money swiftlet farming could actually bring in overnight.

Narrator: And they werent just rumors. For instance, swiftlet hotels in Myanmar can earn at least $6,000 annually, compared to the average income of slightly over $1,100. Additionally, you make more money the more swiftlets you attract.

George: Locals say that a few things need to happen for farming to be successful in order for birds to build their nests.

First factor: abundance is associated with charity according to the locals More birds will visit their homes to build nests the more philanthropic and kind they are to the neighborhood.

Factor two: technology. The housekeepers must use the appropriate technology, such as speakers, to continuously broadcast the correct frequency of the chirping swiftlets at the ideal volume in order to draw them to build nests.

Factor three: they think it’s important to show the swiftlets love and concern. If there are eggs in the nests, they will take care not to harvest the nests.

Storyteller: The swiftlet farming sector has grown tremendously over the past few decades. In Malaysia alone, the estimated number of swiftlet hotels increased from 900 to 60,000 between 1998 and 2013. However, even though this raised supply, the price wasn’t exactly reduced. This is due to the fact that demand has also increased over the last few decades or so.

Creighton: More people can afford it. More people can access it.

Narrator: Despite the fact that there are more bird nests nowadays, they are still difficult to find, which explains why bird nest soup is still quite expensive—a bowl can cost more than $100 at some restaurants. However, we were all wondering, “Is it worth it?”

Abby: Im gonna go, you ready?

Cici: Yeah. You like it?

Abby: Its really good. I think we can add more vinegar in, yeah, pepper. I taste mostly crab, with a hint of jello-like texture towards the back that I assume is the birds nest.

Cici: Yes

Abby: Its really good.

Cici: It doesnt taste like anything.

Abby: No.

Narrator: But then again, thats not the point. People drink it because they believe it to have health benefits. And there may be some truth to that. According to one study, bird nest soup may have anti-inflammatory qualities, and another found that it might lessen the negative effects of chemotherapy. Plus, its rich in protein. In fact, swiftlet nests are 40% to 50% protein.

Therefore, even though it would be pricey, it would at least make for a wholesome snack.

EDITORS NOTE: This video was originally published in March 2019.


How much is Chinese bird nest soup?

Hong Kong and the United States are the largest importers of nests. In Hong Kong, a bowl of bird’s nest soup costs US$30 to US$100.

How much does a bowl of bird nest soup cost for 1 person at Oriental Garden in NYC?

It’s a gelatinous mixture, made from, you guessed it, bird nests. You can find it on the menu at certain Chinese restaurants like at Oriental Garden, here in New York City. But it’ll cost you. Cici: For one person it costs $32.95, and for four people it costs $128.

Is bird’s Nest soup healthy?

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, bird’s nest soup imparts a youthful appearance, raises the libido, improves immune function, increases mental focus and treats respiratory ailments as well as digestive problems. And red nests are thought to be more potent than the white.

What is the most expensive bird nest?

1. Red Bird’s Nest. Red bird’s nest, also known as the blood bird’s nest, is the rarest and most luxurious, expensive, and demanded bird nest. These bird nests are originally discovered in caves across Southeast Asia.