White Fungus Bird’s Nest Drink.
White Fungus. Bird’s Nest. Drink.
White. Fungus Bird’s. Nest Drink.
So what is it? Is it a drink made from the nest of a white-fungus bird? Is there such a thing as a white-fungus bird? Is it a white drink that’s made from the nest of a fungus bird? What in the world is a fungus bird? Maybe it’s what a white fungus bird (as opposed to, say, a blue fungus bird) drinks when in its nest. Is it a bird’s nest made out of white fungus that’s been turned into a drink?
As it turns out, it’s a drink that contains both white fungus and bird’s nest. These aren’t things you normally think of as being drink ingredients, but here at Armenian Fungus Cake we wouldn’t waste your time with normal drink ingredients. This drink really does contain chunks of white fungus as well as real bird’s nest. If you’re not familiar with this particular type of nest, it’s not the collection of leaves and twigs that you might imagine. This nest is produced by the Edible-nest Swiftlet (Aerodramus fuciphagus), and it is composed of hardened saliva.
Now I know what you’re thinking. You think there was some strange auto-correct failure right there, because that last sentence said that the bird’s nest in White Fungus Bird’s Nest Drink is made of bird saliva. And surely that can’t be right, can it? Well, it can. Unlike horse urine eggs, which don’t contain any horse urine, this drink in the golden can contains not only chunks of fungus, but also genuine bird saliva. Probably not very much bird saliva, since the bird’s nest in question sells for about $1,000 per pound and is one of the most expensive foods in the world. Nevertheless, the label clearly lists bird’s nest, and there is no reason to doubt its veracity.
The drink has a chunky texture, thanks to the white fungus. It’s also thick, thanks to thickener 466. It’s sweetness comes from sugar, rock sugar, and synthetic sweetener 960. I never realized that there were at least 466 different thickeners and 960 different synthetic sweeteners. Chemistry has indeed come a long way.
The flavor is reminiscent of vanilla with a bit of milk. The source of the vanilla flavor seems to come from the synthetic flavor that’s mentioned on the label. There’s no number with this one; apparently there isn’t as much variety in synthetic flavors as there is in thickeners.
All in all, White Fungus Bird’s Nest Drink wasn’t all that bad. In fact, it was rather enjoyable in its own strange way, and was even described as “phenomenal” by my culinary co-conspirator. That was before I let him in on the exact nature of the bird’s nest, but even that salivary secret didn’t ruin the appeal of the beverage.
Now all we have to do is locate that elusive white-fungus bird. If you should happen to find one, please send it our way.