Louisiana is home to approximately 1.5 million wild alligators and more than 500,000 farmed alligators, so it’s no surprise that gator harvesting is big business there. According to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries:

Louisiana alligator hunters currently harvest over 33,000 wild alligators and farmers harvest over 280,000 farm-raised alligators annually. Raw meat and hide values are estimated at over $10 million for the wild harvest and over $33 million for the farm harvest in 2005.

What’s funny is that this site also answers questions on how to report a “nuisance gator”—nuisance is a pretty lighthearted term for something most city folks would consider a terrifying beast, don’t you think? Anyway, for those who are new to the gator-eatin’ game, the Epi-Log offers a loose description of its flavor:

If you’ve never tried alligator meat, it tastes like chicken—if chicken were briny and ever so slightly gamy (in a good way, I swear!).

If you’re in the New Orleans area, you can pick up some alligator meat at the Crescent City Farmers Market, or you can order some by mail from Cajun Grocer. So, who’s game for some alligator balls?

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