Gator: It’s What’s for Dinner

two people holding alligators in port arthur texas
Photo © Eric W. Pohl

Beyond the Tail

Alligator – wild and farmed – is part of Southeast Texas economy and culture, Laurel Miller writes in “Texas Highways.”

Miller called the Port Arthur Convention & Visitors Bureau for tips on alligator culture and delicacies. We directed her to stops including Rodair Bar & Grill in Port Arthur and Gator Country and Swamp & River Tours. We are sharing our gator education.

Gator? That’s Protein!

gator meal in port arthur texas
Photo © Eric W. Pohl

Miller finds alligator provided protein for local Native American tribes and Cajun settlers. Luxury alligator skin shoes, handbags and belts were the rage. Next came gator farms. High quality skins and commercial meat hit the market.  Alligator is still a favorite on menus at restaurants including Rodair Bar & Grill.

Cooks are adding alligator into dishes from Cajun classics to fragrant tikki masala. After hunting, processing and cooking, savoring a meal is a form of respect, Miller finds.

Conservation, for more gators

swamp in port arthur, texas
Photo © Eric W. Pohl

Alligator farms are critical for conservation, says Johnathan Warner. Warner is Texas Parks and Wildlife’s alligator program leader. These are economic incentives, like permitted hunting on private land. It motivates owners to manage and protect alligator habitat.

To read “Beyond the Tail,” click here.

Because alligators are so closely connected to our Cajun culture, click here to follow our Cajun Trail. #flavorsofPATX

Catch up with writer, Laurel Miller via her email or follow her @snackingonxanax

Loving the photography? Reach photographer, Eric Pohl, via his website or follow him @ericwpohl

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