Gator meat in high demand - FOX 35 News Orlando

Gator meat in high demand

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LAKELAND (FOX 13) -

You want a real taste of Florida, then why not nibble on a little gator? It's served battered and fried and in gumbo. Alligator ribs are seasoned and slow cooked on the grill.

"Have you eaten it before?" we asked Scott Golenz, who was having lunch with co-workers at Gator's Dockside in Temple Terrace on Monday. He hadn't.

So we asked him to give gator tail a shot.

"Tastes like chicken," he said.

"Would you buy it?" FOX 13 asked.

"Yes," he said.

No matter how you prepare it, you're going to pay more for it these days. The cost of gator has doubled in the last year. It has gone from $5 to $10 per pound.

The manager of Gator's Dockside says one reason the price has gone up so dramatically is that gator meat is demand, thanks to reality television.

"They have 'The Swamp People', things like that, 'Gator Boys,' " pointed out Manager Scott Panyi. "People are saying that's interesting. I want to taste that."

The problem is that there is less meat around these days. Gators are harvested primarily for their hides, which are made into high end belts, shoes, wallets and such. With a slower than usual economy, those kinds of things are not selling like they used to. Until they do, the cost of gator meat is likely to put a bite on your wallet.

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