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Alligator meat

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Alligator meat

Blackened alligator at Felix's restaurant in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

Alligator meat is the meat from alligators that is consumed by humans.[1][2] It has been used both historically and in contemporary times in various cuisines of the Southern United States. Alligator eggs are also consumed by humans. Alligator meat has been described as a healthy meat source for humans due to its high protein and low fat composition. It has been described as being mild flavored and firm in texture.

In the United States, it can only be legally sourced from alligator farms, and is available for consumer purchase in specialty food stores, some grocery stores, and can also be mail ordered.[3][4] Some U.S. companies process and market alligator meat derived only from the tail of alligators.[4]

Composition

Alligator meat consists of 143 calories in a 3.5 ounce serving, 29 percent protein, 3 percent fat and 65 milligrams of cholesterol.[3] It also contains a significant amount of phosphorus, potassium, vitamin B12, niacin and monounsaturated fatty acids.[3] It has been described as a healthy meat source for humans due to its overall composition[3] and for being low in fat and high in protein.[5]

Alligator meat has been described as having a mild flavor and a firm texture. It tastes like chicken, but chewy.[5]

Preparation

Various methods of preparation and cooking exist, including tenderization, marination, deep frying, stewing, roasting, smoking and sauteeing.[3] Alligator meat is used in dishes such as gumbo,[4] and is used in traditional Creole Cuisine.[6] Sausages are also prepared using the meat.[5]

Cuts from the animal used include meat from the animal's tail and backbone, which have been described as "the choicest cuts".[5]

History

Alligator eggs are also consumed by humans

United States

In the mid-1800s, alligator meat was used in some regional cuisines in parts of the Southern United States.[7] During this time, it was used in dishes such as gumbo.[7]

Alligator eggs were a part of the cuisine in many areas of the Southern United States in the early 1900s.[8] During this time people would harvest the eggs and then sell them as a source of income.[8]

In the mid-1980s, some Kroger grocery stores in the U.S. offered alligator meat to consumers.[4]

Legal status

United States

In the United States of America, alligator hunting is legal in South Carolina, Louisiana, Florida, and Texas. Additionally, the meat can only be sourced from alligator farms.[6]

See also

References

  1. ^ IFIS Dictionary of Food Science and Technology - International Food Information Service
  2. ^ Marine and Freshwater Products Handbook
  3. ^ a b c d e Miami Spice: The New Florida Cuisine - Steven Raichlen
  4. ^ a b c d Cincinnati Magazine. June 1986.
  5. ^ a b c d New Orleans - Pableaux Johnson, Charmaine O'Brien. p. 50.
  6. ^ a b Producing Meat - Rachel Lynette. pp. 28-29.
  7. ^ a b Alligator - Richard Spilsbury
  8. ^ a b The Alligator and Its Allies - Albert Moore Reese. 1915. pp. 35-36.

Further reading

  • The Culinary Herpetologist. p. 132.

External links

  • Media related to at Wikimedia Commons
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