ORLANDO, Fla. – Alligators may look cute and cuddly, sure. But did you know that they can also make for a healthy, tasty treat?
According to the Florida Bureau of Seafood, gator is a lean meat, low in fat and cholesterol but high in protein, making it ideal for many low-carb diets.
For every 100 grams of raw, edible gator meat, consumers can expect roughly 232 calories, 4 grams of fat and 46 grams of protein, the bureau’s website reads.
The bureau also states that mild-flavored alligator meat is versatile and can be easily substituted for other lean meats — such as chicken, veal or fish — in most recipes.
According to the bureau, tail meat, the choicest cut, is a mild-flavored white meat with a texture similar to veal, but the ribs and wings are darker meat, meaning they’ve got a stronger taste and texture similar to a pork shoulder.
Depending on what you’re trying to make, however, the bureau suggests buying a certain amount of gator meat:
- Filets: 1/4 - 1/3 pound per serving
- Ribs: 3/4 - 1 pound per serving
- Wings: 4 - 6 pounds per serving
- Nuggets: 1/4 - 1/3 pound per serving
But where can I buy gator meat?
Chances are you’re not going to find much at your local grocery chain, but there are plenty of places in Florida to purchase gator meat if you’re interested.
Below are some of eateries and businesses in Central Florida that offer gator meat.
This gator-themed amusement park offers several kinds of treats, including fried gator nuggets.
While visitors can head to Pearl’s Good Eats for hot dogs, chicken tenders and other fast-food dishes, the “gator bites” are a staple of the diner and a fan-favorite to boot.
(As a side note: the theme park states that none of its nuggets are made using any of the park’s own gators, so you can eat and enjoy the wildlife with a clear conscience!)
Wild Fork markets itself as a grocery store that delivers to your door. Among the many selections of chicken, seafood and other specialty meats its website has on offer, Wild Fork also lists alligator tenderloins.
For those who wish to go in-person, Wild Fork has locations in Winter Park and Orlando. To find a store near you, click here.
Alligators, Inc. is an alligator farm and gator meat retailer that also purchases alligators from those who are able to nab one as part of the state’s Alligator Hunt Permit lottery.
The company offers farmed alligator ribs, tenderized gator meat and even whole alligator — tail and all. For more information, visit the company’s website here.
Beef Jerky Experience
Those with a penchant for jerky meat can visit Beef Jerky Experience in Kissimmee to get a taste of gator jerky.
The store — located at 5770 W. Irlo Bronson Highway — features Cajun alligator sticks, alligator chub and alligator jerky. Its website also says that customers can receive free shipping for orders over $100.
There are also plenty of other alligator farms across Central Florida to choose from. You can find a full list of alligator meat processors on the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s website by clicking here.
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