This lizardlike reptile can grow up to 19 feet in length and is generally found in the swamplands of Louisiana and the Gulf States. Alligator meat is usually only available in its native regions. It comes in three basic types: the tender, white, veallike tail meat; the pinkish body meat, which has a stronger flavor and slightly tougher texture; and the dark tail meat, which is tough and only suitable for braising.

From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

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