I was just reading about Maggie's adventures with Maté. It reminds me of when I was in Singapore a few years ago and offered bird's nest soup. As I recall, the conversation went something like:

K: Here, eat this.

B: What is it?

K: I'll tell you later, have some.

B: OK…

(a few bites later)

B: Um, do you want the rest of this? Because I don't like it very much.

K (disappointed): Really? I quite like it.

B: No, I don't. What is it anyway?

K: It's bird's nest soup. Why don't you like it?

B: Not what you call it, what is it?

K (frowns): It's a bird's nest soup.

B (somewhat afraid): What's it made of?

K: A bird's nest!

B: No, I don't like it.

If you ever have the opportunity to try a sample, politely decline.