Edible birds’ nests, ‘caviar of East,’ seized at Customs
A traveler from Vietnam was stopped this week at DFW International Airport with some unusual contraband: 54 birds’ nests. The edible nests were hidden in the luggage of the smuggler, who failed to declare the Asian delicacies, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The swiftlet nests, commonly known as the “caviar of the East,” are mostly made of the solidified saliva of birds and can fetch big bucks: up to $5,000 a pound. And while they’re lauded for their rejuvenating powers and are quite nutritious, they can also carry diseases like avian flu.
The nests were seized during a customs inspection and were destroyed “using steam sterilization,” the agency said.