Everglades Adventure: Taking a bite out of Alligators—literally.
If you’re not from the South, it may seem like a foreign idea to eat Alligator meat, but believe it or not, it is considered a delicacy in certain parts of the state. Though alligators were at one point, on the national registry of endangered species, they are no longer listed and are now free for consumption.
A fillet of alligator is a staple of “southern” culture and has been a staple of the diet of many Native American tribes in the south for thousands of years.
It is said that alligator meat tastes very similar to chicken, and is served in many different variations. I personally think it has the firmness of pork and a unique flavor that is sort of a mix of chicken and fish. It may sound starnge but most of us here really like it. Some of our friends enjoy alligator ribs too. The owner of the Oyster House, where we stop for lunch on the Everglades tour, grounds the alligator meat up for meatloaf. Fried gator nuggets, alligator sushi, gator burgers and gator gumbo, are just a few more preparations that come to mind.
During your expedition into the everglades, we will stop at a local restaurant, The Oyster House, and everyone gets a complimentary delectable gator tail appetizer with your meal, if you would like to give it a taste. It’s often served with a wedge of lime.
In Southwest Florida, It is may be difficult to locate alligator meat to cook at home, but you can find it specialty shops, seafood markets like Trico off Main St. in Fort Myers Beach and some farmers markets. It is extremely easy to cook what many consider a favorite blackened alligator. Read below or click here for a recipe.
1 pound alligator loin meat
1 1/2 tablespoons blackening seasoning
1 tablespoon cooking oil
Pound alligator until slightly flattened. Season using the blackening seasoning. Cook in hot oil for approximately 4 to 5 minutes, turning constantly after the first minute. When cooked, drain excess oil. Serve sliced.
If you are at home, or on our adventure tour, we recommend you give alligator meat a shot. You’ll never know if you like it until you try it, you are on an adventure after all!