Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America
January 15, 2000 - Issue 01

Gator Goodies
by Vicki Lockard

The early Cajun and Native American trappers of bayou country considered alligator a versatile and tasty ingredient. From sausage to sauce piquant, the white lean meat of alligator found its way into their black iron skillets. Today, this once endangered species is farm raised and available at seafood and meat markets everywhere.

Cajun Fried Alligator


  • 2 pounds alligator tail (1" pieces)
  • Wishbone Italian Dressing
  • Salt
  • Pepper, black & red
  • 1/2 jar mustard
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • Tabasco sauce
  • Flour
  • Garlic powder
  • Peanut oil

Marinate alligator in Wishbone 4 to 5 hours. Salt and pepper to taste.
Mix mustard, garlic powder, and Tabasco sauce. Dip alligator into mustard
batter, roll in flour, fry in peanut oil at 375-400 degrees until golden brown.
Alligator Etouffee ( A-too-fay )


  • 1 lb alligator meat - cut in thin strips
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup green onions - chopped
  • 1/4 cup parsley - chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves - minced
  • 4 celery stalks - chopped
  • 1 can tomatoes - (sorry folks, no size given)
  • salt, cayenne and black pepper
Saute onions, garlic and celery in butter until soft. Add tomatoes and
simmer for 20 minutes in covered iron pot. Add alligator meat and allow to
cook over low heat until tender (approximately 1 hour). If gravy is too
thick, add a little hot water.

Gator Bytes
Vicki Lockard

Did you know that alligators have been around since prehistoric times? Here are some facts about the American alligator (Alligator Mississippiensis).

  • Size: Males get to be up to 15 feet long and can weigh 400 pounds. Females can get to be 8 feet long and weigh 160 pounds.

  • Location: The American alligator is found in the southern United States and Central America. He lives on the edge of bodies of water; swamps, rivers and lakes.

  • Diet: The alligator is a meat eater. He eats fish, small mammals and birds.

  • Life Span: There is little known about the life span of alligators, in the wild, but there are records of 73-100 years, in captivity.

  • Status: The alligator was once an endangered species, but now is considered a threatened species.

  • Anatomy: In the first six years, the alligator grows about a foot a year. His whole body is covered with strong, horny plates. His large jaw has 80 teeth and is used to crush his pray. The alligator can not chew, so he swallows his prey whole.

  • Locomotion: The alligator slides on its belly, walks or gallops for short distances on land. He is an excellent swimmer and uses his back feet like rudders, in the water. He swims in a snakelike movement.

To learn more about the alligator, visit these sites:
UF/IFAS AgriGator * The American Alligator

American alligator

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