Lent, Gator Meat, and You… and I

In this week’s digital edition of the UK’s best Catholic weekly, The Catholic Herald, I saw this cartoon:

Not a lot of gators in Ol’ Blighty, except perhaps plodding around in the offices of The Bitter Pill, but I think we are having an impact.

Naturally, you will recall our discussions of this HERE.  You may eat alligator on Fridays in Lent.

But recently in Natchitoches (aka “Nakatish”) I was delighted to have my Lenten lizard.  Not in burger form, but in noshable chunks with what was described to me as “red gravy”.



For after Lent, how about some nice Gator Gummy Candies?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. off2 says:

    Looks yummy. Recipe?

  2. lsclerkin says:

    I like gator bites. They’re good.

  3. JamesA says:

    “Red gravy” LOL ! One of my favorite Louisiana-isms. (usually refers to what everyone else calls “tomato sauce”)

  4. JamesA: But it wasn’t tomato. It was more… oil… with spices.

  5. Magpie says:

    What does lizard taste like?

  6. tzard says:

    I had alligator at a parish festival when I used to live and work in Louisiana. It was delicious, and if I remember right, it had the texture of very lean pork.

    Parish festivals, you know the type – with lots of beer, bands, food, and families. Well, that’s what I saw in rural Louisiana.

  7. Mariana2 says:

    Maybe frozen gator would be good business for American states where the critters abound?

  8. Chatto says:

    On a related note, can we eat horses, ever? Anyone else heard the story about Pope Zachary writing to St. Boniface, forbidding Catholics from the ‘pagan’ practice of eating horses? I think it falls into the same factual category as the Spanish blue vestment indult, though we actually have documentation for that one. It’s just something that ‘people know’, but the evidence is thin. Does it still apply?

  9. Joe in Canada says:

    It’s not kosher but there’s no reason Christians couldn’t eat it.

  10. Chatto says: can we eat horses, ever?

    Of course! We can’t eat them on Fridays of Lent, but, yes. And they are rather tasty. We had horse regularly when I was in seminary.

  11. I have only eaten fried gator and it is very good. Fr. Z, now you must try real Cajun Boudin. Yum, yum!

  12. Tom Ryan says:


    Are there any cold blooded animals we can’t eat during Fridays of Lent?

  13. SKAY says:

    “Pope Zachary writing to St. Boniface, forbidding Catholics from the ‘pagan’ practice of eating horses?”
    I think I have to go with Pope Zachary on this. My granddaughter owns a horse and yes–he is a member of our family.
    I suggest alligator instead. As the website that I posted suggests–there are many ways to prepare and eat alligator meat–and remember–alligators would happily eat us if given the chance. : ) Of course I have only tried alligator once-fried-so perhaps I will “practice what I preach” and give it another try.

  14. JamesA says:

    Yes, Father Z : I noticed that it seemed to be an oil-based something. Unusual. Generally when a Louisianan says “red gravy”, they are speaking of a tomato sauce. At least in my experience.
    That gator sure looks good !

  15. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Personally, I’d rather not eat horse; I do think of them as companion animals as opposed to meat ones. However, what Pope Zachary was probably talking about was eating horses in a ceremonial pagan way. The Germans, the Irish, and many other cultures had various sorts of pagan ceremonies which involved eating horses. (Don’t know if the Romans ever did.) So it basically looked bad for Christians to be eating horsemeat in cultures where that was strongly associated with pagan ceremonies, magic, etc., even if the Christians were just eating it as regular meat.

  16. frhumphries says:

    JamesA – Red “gravy” means different things in different places. In New Orleans, among Italians, red gravy is suga or tomato sauce. In the Cajun\Creole world, it’s a sauce picante made from the oil given off by the meat, vegetable oil and spices.

  17. incredulous says:

    Next time you are in Southwest Ranches, c’mon in for some real gator bites. Forget that Louisiana stuff… Their’s is the langostinos of gator…

    Here’s where it’s really at:


  18. codefiend says:

    If you’re ever here in Alexandria, LA, [45 mins from Nachitoches; or as we affectionately call it, “Nak-i-trash”:) ] stop by the restaurant “Tunks Cypress Inn” for some good gator!

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