Alligator meat is the meat from alligators that is consumed by humans. It has been used both historically and in contemporary times in various cuisines of the Southern United States. Alligator eggs are also consumed by humans. Alligator meat has been described as a healthy meat source for humans due to its high protein and low fat composition. It has been described as being mild flavored and firm in texture.
In the United States, it can only be legally sourced from alligator farms, and is available for consumer purchase in specialty food stores, some grocery stores, and can also be mail ordered. Some U.S. companies process and market alligator meat derived only from the tail of alligators.
Alligator meat consists of 143 calories in a 3.5 ounce serving, 29 grams of protein, 3 percent fat and 65 milligrams of cholesterol. It also contains a significant amount of phosphorus, potassium, vitamin B12, niacin and monounsaturated fatty acids. It has been described as a healthy meat source for humans due to its overall composition and for being low in fat and high in protein.
Alligator meat has been described as having a mild flavor and a firm texture. It tastes like chicken, with a mildly fishy flavor, and is often chewy, depending on preparation.
Various methods of preparation and cooking exist, including tenderization, marination, deep frying, stewing, roasting, smoking and sauteeing. Alligator meat is used in dishes such as gumbo, and is used in traditional Louisiana Creole cuisine. Sausages are also prepared using the meat.
Alligator eggs were a part of the cuisine in many areas of the Southern United States in the early 1900s. During this time people would harvest the eggs and then sell them as a source of income.
In the mid-1980s, some Kroger grocery stores in the U.S. offered alligator meat to consumers.
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