HOW ALLIGATOR IS USED IN CAJUN FOOD
Cajun food originates from the deepest part of Southern Louisiana and Mississippi. Like the area it originated from, Cajun food have very rich and spicy flavor which makes it delicious. Many people do not know that the Cajun food was evolved by extremely poor people who are the descendants of Acadians and French Catholic inhabitants and they move to New Orleans when they were expelled from Canada by the British.
Cajun people are very close to the Mexico Gulf, so seafood is a big thing in their dishes. Cajuns living in rural areas made hearty dishes like jambalaya and gumbo that mostly consists of seafood, rice, vegetables and spices. Cajun cooking uses whatever foods are nearby and available, like crawfish, alligator, duck, okra, tomatoes or corn.
According to Ms.Bienvenu: “When Cajun people planning a meal, he or she simply opens the door of kitchen and whatever is swimming, flying, walking or growingin their gardens may well end up in the pot.
Cajun spices comprises of three main things:
- Bell pepper
These three are the favorite vegetables which add flavor for the Cajun food. It is known as the ‘Holy Trinity’. A couple of other ingredients include cayenne pepper and garlic. Cajuns are fond of their spice, and add it to most dishes that they prepare.
Alligator in Cajun food
Southern parts of Louisiana are full of marshy coastal regions and swamplands. It is known as the best home for Alligators and they rapidly became part of the regular dining options. Taste of Alligator is like chicken or rabbit. Tail, ribs, tenderloin and other different parts of Alligator are used to prepare variety of dishes like:
- Alligator Cajun spiced ribs
- Alligator stew
- Fried alligator tail
- Alligator pie
- Alligator Sauce Piquante
Alligator meat is rich in vitamins, potassium, phosphorus, niacinand fatty acids which make it a healthy alternative to pork, chicken and beef. The majority of people are well known with eating alligator meat that has been seasoned, southern style and presented with a sauce. This meat basically comes from the tail portion of the alligator. A large number of folks like to take meat and grind it for making sausages and other applications that require blending the wild gator with pork.
There are a lot of ways to use Alligator in Cajun cooking:
- Gator Ballswhich is ground gator meat (into a meatball, of course) with some other things then breaded and deep fried.
- Alligator Etouffee, a specialty of Robert St. Thomas where the alligator meat is substituted for the crawfish meat.
- Pistolettes, stuffed with savory Cajun alligator filling and sized for individual portions. They can be baked or fried to a deliciously golden brown.
- Boudin is another type of Louisiana delicacy which offers a seamless blend of select alligator, seasonings, cooked rice and the holy trinity of Cajun cuisine like onions, celery, and bell pepper.
- It can be used as a substitute for both chicken and crawfish, as it is heavier in texture than crawfish (closer to chicken) but keeps a seafood quality.