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For the week of March 7 through 13, 2001

Alligator: another white meat low in fat, high in protein

Express Staff Writer

Think of the things you will eat, and you will come up with quite a variety from raw oysters and snails to veal and lamb to elk and bear.

You might even congratulate yourself on the variety of tastes you enjoy.

With fresh alligator available just a short drive to Buhl maybe you’d like to further expand the horizons of your taste buds.

But how to cook it?

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, author of The Yearling, has the answer for you in her 1942 cookbook, Cross Creek Cookery.

She suggests cutting the meat 4 inches long and 2 inches wide, then rolling it in salted and peppered flour, and then frying it up quickly in butter.

Add lemon. Serve with red wine.

A select gathering of food lovers tried Rawlings’ recipe recently.

The verdict: fried, alligator has a strong flavor that in no way resembles chicken or anything else. The description that fit closest for the gourmets was fishy, but even that failed to sufficiently describe it.

Not only is alligator something new for your palate, it is good for you.

The Florida Department of Agriculture reports on its web site that alligator is "low in fat and calories and high in protein." In addition, it is low in saturated fatty acids and high in mono-unsaturated fatty acids.

For those of you with exotic tastes but are conservation-minded, not to worry. The alligator is not an endangered species.

They once were, but no longer.

"During the 1960s, American alligators were illegally hunted for their valuable hides. With the help of federal legislation and the alligator industry’s active involvement," there are now more than 1 million wild alligators in Florida alone.


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