Alligator meat is an exotic yet healthful option to add to your diet. The choicest cut is the tail meat which is white and very much like veal in texture. The tenderloin comes from a cylindrical tube inside the tail. The body meat is somewhat darker and has a stronger taste and slightly tougher texture. It is very similar to pork shoulder.
Alligator meat tastes somewhere between chicken and rabbit, with perhaps a hint of frog legs. Alligator can be used in jambalaya’s, soups, and stews.
The choicest cut is the tail meat which is white and very much like veal in texture. The tenderloin comes from a cylindrical tube inside the tail. The body meat is somewhat darker and has a stronger taste and slightly tougher texture. It is very similar to pork shoulder.
Alligators are prehistoric-looking creatures that typically frighten most people. Their ferocious looks and powerful jaws put them at the top of the food chain, or so many people would believe.
However, several states allow for the legal hunting of alligators for the sole purpose of using them as a source of meat. You can try this exotic yet flavorful and lean meat for yourself by knowing where to find and how to prepare it.
What Does Alligator Meat Taste Like?
Alligator meat tastes somewhere between chicken and rabbit, with perhaps a hint of frog legs.
In the states that allow alligator hunting, these creatures are known as the chicken of the swamp. In fact, meat from alligators is said to be not only lean and low in fat but also flavorful and tender if prepared correctly.
Still, the most common cuts of alligator are its tail, which is processed into tenderloins, as well as its legs and ribs. The meat can be grilled, baked or broiled. It can also be breaded and deep fried, stewed and even smoked or dried and made into jerky.
If alligator meat is prepared correctly, it does not need much if any seasoning. When learning how to cook alligator meat, you need to realize that it also should not have a gamey or fishy taste to it. To remove its strong flavor, you can soak it in milk for one to two days before cooking.
Is Alligator Meat Legal in the United States
In the United States, only a few states allow alligators to be hunted, however. These states are Florida, South Carolina, Texas, and Louisiana. If you live elsewhere, you need to either travel to one of these states to hunt or buy the meat from an authorized source.
Where to Buy Alligator Meat
If you wonder who eats alligator meat, you need only look to hunter as well as fans of gourmet Southern food. However, as the meat becomes more popular in the U.S. and more people learn of its nutritional benefits, it is becoming more available in stores throughout the country.
In fact, not only is alligator meat legal in the United States, it is also showing up more frequently in restaurants and grocery stores in just about every state in the country. Right now, it is only legal to buy the meat from a store or butcher that gets it from authorized alligator farms. Hunters cannot sell their takes to butcher shops, grocery stores or even to private buyers who want to purchase the meat from their tables.
The sale of meat from alligators is closely regulated, however. If you sell or buy it illegally, you can be heavily sanctioned and lose your hunting privileges for years. You could even be sentenced to several days in jail for violating U.S. hunting and gaming laws.
Alligator Meat Nutrition Facts
The alligator meat nutrition facts highlight why this meat is becoming so popular in the U.S. today. A 100-gram serving of the meat contains nutritional values like:
- 143 calories
- 29 grams of protein
- Three percent fat
- 65 grams of cholesterol
It is also a good source of nutrients like:
- Vitamin B12
- Monounsaturated fatty acids
When incorporated into your diet, it can be a good substitute for other meats like chicken, pork and beef.