A dish of alligator – such as a piquante, jambalaya, or a fried version of it – isn’t a common sight in many restaurants. This meat, though, is a great source of protein, not to mention it offers a unique taste.
Taste and Texture
You’ve probably heard someone else say alligator meat tastes “just like chicken,” and there is some truth to it. But it’s not exactly like chicken; in fact, for some, it’s even better than the world’s most famous fowl. Think of it as a cross between chicken and white fish such as tilapia, cod, and catfish. Some liken it to rabbit and frog legs as well. This blend of flavors creates a stronger taste, making it a delectable choice for many. Herbs, spices, seasonings, and marinades can easily influence its flavor.
Preparing it requires some effort and a keen eye. Its meat, by nature, is gamey like veal and very lean – which means it will turn chewy if you leave it on the stove half a minute later.
In some areas, this “other white meat” is a rare treat; although thanks to the Internet, it’s now possible and easy to buy alligator meat online. Usually, it’s sold as ribs, filets, and steaks – often frozen to preserve it.
Steaks and filets often come from the tail, the whitest and most tender cut of it. The tail is the best cut there is, in the eyes of many health experts and professional chefs, as it has virtually no fat due to the packed muscle tissues in the area. After all, these creatures use their tails to wade through water.
The torso, by weight, has more fat in it while meat from its wings – or more commonly, feet – are more dense and fibrous.
Alligator is a very healthful meat; in fact, some even consider it a great alternative to beef, especially for the hypertensive. Some might argue that it contains more calories, although it has to be mentioned that alligators take their calories from dense muscles; unlike chicken breasts, the calories of which are from fat.
This is a heart-healthy meat choice because of its low cholesterol. Additionally, it contains some helpful vitamins and minerals such as potassium, vitamin B-12, and iron. Alligator meat is rich in dietary fiber as well.
Though it’s rare to see alligator meat on the dinner table for most people, it’s one of the most nutritious types of meat out there; and the best part is it tastes absolutely delicious.