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Gator Meat Getting Popular: 'The Weird Items Sell'
NWF Florida Daily News ^ | June 11, 2011 | Angel McCurdy

Posted on 06/13/2011 11:14:47 AM PDT by nickcarraway

Some say it tastes like chicken. Others say you can still tell it comes from a swamp.

The tradition of eating alligator is carried down from Cajuns in Louisiana and is slowly spreading east.

Emerald Coast residents and tourists are venturing out of their comfort zones to taste the critter, but most don’t come back for seconds.

“I don’t think there are many big gator fans out there,” said Jay Carmena, general manager of Destin Ice, which sells frozen gator meat by the pound. “Most people buy it because it’s a novelty.”

The meat has 110 calories per serving and 28 grams of protein, which makes it leaner than chicken.

Gator is sold frozen or in sausage form at some locations. The price ranges from $5.95 to $8.95 a pound.

At Gulf Coast Seafood Market in Fort Walton Beach, the alligator-pork sausage is the more popular of the two.

“I wouldn’t call gator one of the big selling meats,” said Clayton Guessford, manager of Gulf Coast Seafood. “The sausage sells a lot more, though. I think it’s easier to prepare and looks a little more familiar.”

The most popular way to prepare gator meat — which typically comes from the tail — is to fry it. Some sauté and others grill, but Guessford says the frying makes it taste more like chicken.

At one of the newest restaurants in Fort Walton Beach, the Krustee Krabb, owner Bo Knight prepares his alligator like a shish-kabob, alternating pickles and meat.

He then dips both in a hot sauce, which doesn’t quite manage to hide the distinctive taste.

“We try and prepare it so when people have it for the first time they have a good experience,” Knight said as he tossed some chopped chunks of gator meat into flour.

“The weird items sell pretty well because there aren’t many places around here you can get them.”


TOPICS: Food; Local News; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: florida; gator; meat

1 posted on 06/13/2011 11:14:52 AM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Tastes like wood.


2 posted on 06/13/2011 11:18:20 AM PDT by Nonstatist
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To: nickcarraway

I’ve had it deep fried. It’s not too bad. The gator sausage idea sounds like a good one.


3 posted on 06/13/2011 11:19:30 AM PDT by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open ( <o> ---)
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To: nickcarraway

I’ve had fried gator tail. It was really good.


4 posted on 06/13/2011 11:23:54 AM PDT by imskylark
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To: nickcarraway
To me it has a similar taste and consistency of pork.
5 posted on 06/13/2011 11:24:44 AM PDT by JPG (Hey, LSM, how are those emails workin' out for ya?)
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To: nickcarraway

i had deep fried chunks of gator tail once and loved it.


6 posted on 06/13/2011 11:30:03 AM PDT by madamemayhem (defeat is not getting knocked down, it is not getting back up.)
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To: Nonstatist
Tastes like wood.

You ate the dang decoy:)

Alligator does taste like chicken and most Louisianans have eaten it. I like it fried, Cajuns like it in a sauce piquant. It is very lean but a good protein. You can't get it anywhere in S.E. Louisiana but in Cajun country you can pick it up off the road!

7 posted on 06/13/2011 11:30:36 AM PDT by Bitsy (!)
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To: Bitsy

Are there any Japanese Cajuns that make gator sushi?


8 posted on 06/13/2011 11:32:04 AM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

We sell it.


9 posted on 06/13/2011 11:35:57 AM PDT by Sybeck1 (Welcome to the Willard Romney, "It's My Turn" tour..................)
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To: nickcarraway

In FL we eat it too.

I’ve never tried it, but most young people I know have.


10 posted on 06/13/2011 11:36:27 AM PDT by I still care (I miss my friends, bagels, and the NYC skyline - but not the taxes. I love the South.)
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To: nickcarraway

We have a cajun restaurant here in town. I always get the alligator dinner-”McAlligator” breaded nuggets, hush puppies, dirty rice, and red beans, with a delicious cajun sauce to dip the nuggets in. The sauce is a necessity because without it, the alligator would be...well, bland. Tastes like chicken? Maybe like white meat chicken that’s been marinated in fishy water. Pretty tender, though, and the sauce is great.


11 posted on 06/13/2011 11:47:12 AM PDT by kaylar (It's MARTIAL law. Not marshal(l) or marital! This has been a spelling PSA. PS Secede not succeed)
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To: nickcarraway
I've had gator and its OK. As a sometimes angler and cook i prefer trout/redfish.
To get your own gator requires a whole'nother tackle box and range time.


12 posted on 06/13/2011 11:53:06 AM PDT by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: nickcarraway

There used to be a cajun place around here that had gator tail in a sort of jambalaya — I liked it. Reminded me of a somewhat fishy-tasting pork roast.


13 posted on 06/13/2011 12:00:21 PM PDT by Fast Moving Angel (If he has nothing to hide, why is he spending so much $$$ hiding it?)
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To: smokingfrog; nickcarraway; All

I tried fried at a little cafe/shack along the highway between Miami and the Gulf Coast. The taste was ok, but not what I would buy regularly. What I want to know is what those big pythons taste like that have grown in the Everglades since the petstore blew out in Hurricane Andrew. If they taste good, it might be an incentive to cull the population.


14 posted on 06/13/2011 12:01:53 PM PDT by gleeaikin
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To: nickcarraway

Check out way down the menu for Rajin Cajun Sushi:)

http://www.servingsushi.com/CatSubCat/CatSubCatDisplay2.asp?p1=9&p2=Y&p7=2&p8=528&p9=CSC1


15 posted on 06/13/2011 12:03:49 PM PDT by Bitsy (!)
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To: nickcarraway

I had Gator “nuggets” with a nice Thai Chili dipping sauce Saturday night with dinner. Mmmmmm.


16 posted on 06/13/2011 12:05:29 PM PDT by PogySailor (The ruling class will not go down easily. And neither will their paid hacks.)
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To: nickcarraway
I make Chicken Sushi.

I call it Cushi.

Other people, of course, call it an Emergency Room Visit.

17 posted on 06/13/2011 12:07:56 PM PDT by Lazamataz (Anthony Weiner is a little cocky.)
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To: nickcarraway
A few of gator recipes using different cooking methods.


18 posted on 06/13/2011 12:08:51 PM PDT by deport
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To: deport

Thanks Bubba. Would you say “That-that’s about it”


19 posted on 06/13/2011 12:20:08 PM PDT by WinMod70
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To: deport

... due to conservation regulations the gators have been allowed to multiply exponentially. Southeast Coastal Georgia is over populated with gators — they need to be thinned out.
Alligators are a plentiful, renewable natural resource — why don’t we start capitalizing on it. The pioneers and people at least at the turn of the past century (1900 A.D.) had the gator population drawn down. For the last 60 years nobody much has been killing him and now it’s a safety issue. I look where I step every time I go outside. Let’s thin them out NOW!!! sell their hides to China ...


20 posted on 06/13/2011 12:23:39 PM PDT by nightmarewhileawake
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To: nickcarraway

Don’t know about gator, but Iguana tail tastes exactly like chicken breast.


21 posted on 06/13/2011 12:24:43 PM PDT by dangus
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To: nickcarraway

Never had gator. I did have barbecued boa constrictor once though, really tasty; I actually liked it.


22 posted on 06/13/2011 12:26:37 PM PDT by BuffaloJack (In 2012 get rid of Obama and his Empire of Lies.)
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To: nightmarewhileawake

I’m not sure of all the states that have alligator hunting seasons but the following do.

http://www.alligatorhunting.net/alligator-hunting-season/

Florida
Georgia
Louisiana
Mississippi
South Carolina
Texas


23 posted on 06/13/2011 12:44:38 PM PDT by deport
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To: kaylar

“We have a cajun restaurant here in town...”

That sounds good to me. I’d try it in a second!!


24 posted on 06/13/2011 12:50:29 PM PDT by momtothree
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To: momtothree

I don’t suppose you’re in Missouri-???


25 posted on 06/13/2011 1:07:45 PM PDT by kaylar (It's MARTIAL law. Not marshal(l) or marital! This has been a spelling PSA. PS Secede not succeed)
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To: kaylar

Nope. We (unfortunately) live in the Republik of Maryland. However, one of these days, I am going to see Louisiana and I made a promise to myself that I am going to try alligator. I guess I am becoming quite “the daredevil” as I get older. LOL!


26 posted on 06/13/2011 1:24:45 PM PDT by momtothree
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To: momtothree
Watching Swamp People makes me crave the gator stew I've seen prepared on it-actually, it's dangerous to watch that show, because it kicks in my gator craving, which can only be satisfied by going to Le Maire's and getting the alligator dinner at 14.95 a pop.

We're hoping to get to the Grand Canyon this September...If we ever take another vacation again, Louisiana is high on the list. And even though I was born and spent portion of my childhood there, it'll mainly be to eat the alligator dishes we've seen on SP. I'll bet the Lousiana board of tourism never predicted reactions like that, when they were deciding whether or not to cooperate with the shooting of that show.

27 posted on 06/13/2011 1:44:23 PM PDT by kaylar (It's MARTIAL law. Not marshal(l) or marital! This has been a spelling PSA. PS Secede not succeed)
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To: kaylar

My whole family LOVES the show!! Troy is my favorite but each family member has their own. You are absolutely right about the show’s “cuisine”. It looks relatively simple in a home-cooking way and I would eat it in a minute. I think you are right about people viewing the show and wanting to visit and eating the family style dishes made out of alligator. Heck, I would even try that one fish that looks like an alligator (the name won’t pop into my brain).


28 posted on 06/13/2011 1:48:22 PM PDT by momtothree
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To: momtothree

Alligator Gar — I recommend that you don’t try it ... it’s truly nasty!

I have had alligator a couple of times, it’s okay, but I thought it was too greasy when deep-fried (maybe it was the oil used?) — in a stew/gumbo is much better.

I love Swamp People too, was just surprised me with a T-shirt with a pic of Troy on it & “King of the Swamp” :P


29 posted on 06/13/2011 4:52:14 PM PDT by twyn1
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To: I still care

It’s a big seller in TN the week of the Tennessee-Florida game...the rest of the year, not so much.


30 posted on 06/13/2011 6:28:11 PM PDT by scrabblehack
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To: twyn1

I thought maybe the fried or the “stew or gumbo”. My favorite person on the show is definitely Troy. My son think that Willy is “very cool” and laughed and laughed during the episode when he caught over 300 snakes and starting throwing up after being bitten so many times. His thoughts, “Any guy that will catch that many snakes knowing he is going to be bitten and just hurls is a COOL guy”. (whatever?!)


31 posted on 06/14/2011 4:21:56 AM PDT by momtothree
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To: momtothree

Ha! yeah Willy is quite a character ... sometimes I worry about his choices tho’, not the brightest bulb there. I like the addition of R.J. and Jay Paul this season, cool guys and Liz is great too!


32 posted on 06/14/2011 6:04:05 AM PDT by twyn1
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To: twyn1

Willy is definitely not the brightest crayon in the box. I will say this: the episode that presented Glenn and Mitch.... oh my GOSH! I said, “I have had nightmares of my car going dead in the woods and turning around to see guys like this”. However, they certainly seem to be happy men! I adored the bickering and teasing between Troy and “Izabit”.


33 posted on 06/14/2011 6:11:40 AM PDT by momtothree
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To: nickcarraway
Are there any Japanese Cajuns that make gator sushi?

Try down at Takayashi Boudreaux's place.

34 posted on 06/14/2011 6:33:18 AM PDT by tnlibertarian (Hey D. C., tax increases are not spending cuts. Nor do tax cuts constitute increased spending.)
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