Trust Me, He's Tasty (Especially When Made into Sausage)

I haven't traveled to many faraway lands and eaten exotic food I couldn't pronounce that may or may not have been illegal in the US. I have, however, lived in New Orleans, where alligator is on the menu more often than you'd think. If you want to see two weird things I've eaten (and loved), read on...

Most common is to see alligator meat made into sausage and grilled or crumbled into dishes. One of the most unique is the Alligator Sausage Cheesecake at Jacques-Imo's restaurant.

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It's a wedge of cheesy, creamy, spicy "cheesecake" (more like a very rich quiche) studded with chunks of alligator. Delicious.

Alligator sausage is also pretty popular on po' boys. My favorite was a barbecue version, where the sausage was split and grilled, then topped with barbecue sauce and melted cheese.

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So, what does alligator taste like, exactly? Well, a lot like sausage. Isn't that always the case with odd, not-so-familiar foods? How many exotic things are described as, "Tastes like chicken"? But when combined with the Cajun seasonings of New Orleans, it really did just blend in as a savory, juicy, meaty flavor. Not too tough, but not as tender as a pork sausage.

Unfortunately, alligator isn't something I can pick up at Whole Foods. And I'm not sure I'd want to if I could. It only seems fitting to eat it in Louisiana, under a very hot sun, not far from a swamp.

Related: The Most Exotic Food I've Ever Eaten is an Egg

(Image: Flickr members Ryan Somma, Mills Baker, and infrogmation, licensed for use under Creative Commons)