Gator is a popular meat in the southern part of the United States.
But the meat from an alligator is not limited to this part of the world.
It is also a very popular game in Africa and parts of Asia.
Nevertheless, gator meat is not a traditionally common one like chicken or steak.
So you might be wondering what does gator taste like or how to cook it.
This post is for you if you want to know what this interesting game meat tastes like and its nutritional value as well.
What is Gator?
Alligator meat or simply gator refers to the meat from alligators.
According to Wikipedia, gator has been a regular part of cuisines, both historically and contemporarily.
Most notably, gator is one of the primary ingredients of gumbo. Gator has high protein content, which makes it a great choice for human consumption.
In the US, gator is available exclusively in specialty stores and online stores.
You can also purchase gator meat from some groceries in some cases, but it is not very common.
Some specialty companies only sell gator meat that comes from the animal’s tail, which is considered the best part for consumption.
Trading gator meat outside of alligator farms is an illegal activity in America.
What Does Gator Taste Like? Does Gator Taste Good?
It is interesting to note that the gator is called the chicken of the swamp.
It is because parts of the gator, especially the tail, taste similar to chicken.
Depending on the preparation, the gator’s tail can also be tender and juicy with a mild flavor.
This tenderloin is also very tender and white, almost like veal.
On the other hand, the gator’s ribs and legs are firmer and, therefore, a bit chewier.
In addition, the color of the meat from the body is also darker. In this regard, the ribs and legs of the gator taste gamey.
Furthermore, the dark meat of the gator also has a strong flavor, but it is not overpowering in any way.
When it comes to texture, the gator is light and slightly chewy.
However, the chewy texture is more prominent in the meat of the legs and ribs.
In contrast, the tenderloin or the loin is almost flaky and soft.
However, the preparation and the cooking method dictate the final taste of the gator.
Nevertheless, the lingering fishy taste almost always accompanies the gator meat.
Nutritional value of gator.
Compared to other types of game meat, gator is considered very healthy.
According to the Florida Department of Agriculture, FDACS, the nutritional value per 100 g of gator meat is as follows:
- Protein – 46 g
- Fat – 4 g, including traces of mono-unsaturated fats.
- Cholesterol – 65 mg
- Minerals – Traces of potassium and phosphorus.
- Vitamins – Traces of vitamin B3 or niacin and vitamin B12.
Therefore, the total energy per 32 oz or 100 gm of gator meat is 600 KJ.
How to Prepare and Cook Gator in Recipes
Because gator meat has a fantastic texture, you can prepare and cook it in multiple ways.
Marinating, tenderizing, roasting, smoking, and deep-frying are some of the ways to prepare and cook gator.
Gator does not require special prepping even though it is exotic meat.
However, there are some healthy steps to make cooking and eating gator a wholesome experience. These are:
- Freeze the gator meat until you are ready to cook it.
- Refreezing gator is not recommended, so thaw only the portion you will need.
- Remove as much fat from the meat as possible.
- Marinate the gator for as long as possible, and do not reuse the marinades to avoid bacterial infection.
- Avoid serving gator rare as far as possible.
- Use very little oil for cooking the gator.
Gator contains a good amount of mercury, so avoid it if you are pregnant or nursing.
Gator is often considered a slice of exotic meat. But despite the label, meat from the alligator is a very healthy source of protein.
In addition, it has a fantastic balance of white and dark meat as well as a difference in texture.
Furthermore, the meat is also pretty easy to cook, even for amateurs.
So the next time you decide to try gator, don’t hesitate to taste it.