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We Eat What? A Cultural Encyclopedia of Unusual Foods in the United States
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A LLIGATOR 3 3. Add any juice of the berries and whip once more to fully incorporate. 4. Stir in the berries by hand until evenly distributed. Further Reading Demer, Lisa. 2015. “Can Traditional Alaska Native Foods Be Sold? A Clash of Legal, Cultural Opinions.” Alaska Dispatch News. https://www.adn.com/rural-alaska/article/selling-native -traditional-foods-fuels-emotions-about-what-some-consider-taboo/2015/08/02. Spray, Zona. 2016. “What Is Eskimo Ice Cream?” Smithsonian Institution. July 25. http:// www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/eskimo-ice-cream-atlas-of-eating-native-cuisine -food-eats-smithsonian-journeys-travel-quarterly-180959431. ALLIGATOR The alligator, a reptile that can grow up to 14 feet in length, is native to the United States and China. The species of alligator found in the United States is the Ameri- can alligator and is only found in the southeastern United States. Alligator can be eaten in two forms, both the alligator meat and alligator eggs. Alligator is consid- ered a healthy meat, as it is low in fat and high in protein. The meat comes in three types: pink body meat, white tail meat, and dark tail meat. It is said to taste like the dark meat of chicken, but with a slight fishy taste. It is contested which meat is most commonly eaten some claim that the tail meat is best and most consumed, while others rave about the rib meat. According to Chef Kenny Gilbert of Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen in Fernandina Beach, Florida, alligator is best prepared in the smoker. The Catholic Church classifies alligator meat as fish, and therefore it is permis- sible for Catholics to eat alligator on Fridays during Lent when meat is not to be consumed. It is common for people in the Southeast to hunt alligator for sport. In the United States, alligator hunting is legal in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas, with the proper license. Alligator hunt- ing was unregulated until 1973, when the alligator was identified as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Alligator meat can also be sourced from alliga- tor farms. The Seminole Indians of Florida ate alligator, using other animals such as cormorants as bait when hunting alligator from their canoes. Alligator meat is prepared in many ways, including blackened, fried, in stews, in sausages, and in even more adventurous dishes such as alligator sushi and gator gumbo, both in the home and in restaurants, predominantly in the southeastern United States. Alligator eggs can be consumed and were eaten as a source of nutri- tion in the early 1900s, but now it is illegal to harvest wild alligator eggs without a permit. Alligator meat contains 143 calories per 3.5-ounce serving, 3 percent of which is fat, and contains 65 milligrams of cholesterol. Alligator meat is a good source of phosphorus, potassium, vitamin B12, niacin, and monounsaturated fatty acids. Jacque-Imo’s Café in New Orleans serves shrimp and alligator sausage cheese- cake as an appetizer. Lulu’s Bait Shack in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, also serves