As a child, I never imagined I would ever eat a reptile. Snakes, lizards and crocodiles were not on the menu. You could say that my experience was rather limited.
In Ancient Egypt crocodiles were revered as representatives of the Nile god Sobek, a very important god to a people who relied entirely on the Nile river for water and sustenance. There are still many Nile crocodiles in Sub-Saharan Africa, but in Egypt they are largely extinct north of the Aswan High Dam; a dam built in the south of Egypt that has prevented large animals like crocodiles from getting through. They’re also subject to poaching for their skin. If you’re interested in finding out more about Nile crocs in Egypt, check out this National Geographic article.
My husband has always been fascinated by crocodiles; he believes that they are the perfect predators. His fascination extends all the way back into childhood. He even introduced me to one of the cutest children’s songs I’ve ever heard, a German song about a little Egyptian crocodile named Schnappi. You can watch the cute video on YouTube here. Ich bin Schnappi, das kleine krokodil…
Now that this catchy little tune is stuck in your head as it is in mine, let’s get down to the business of cooking these scary reptiles. I recently decided to get even more adventurous than usual and bought some crocodile tail fillets from my local specialty meat store and set about trying to find out what on earth I should do with them.
After much research and thinking, I finally decided on the most direct course of action and to just pan-fry them in my cast-iron pan like steak with some light seasoning and see what happens. In the picture below you can see the two steaks I cut out of this fillet in the pan.
Once it hit the pan, I knew it would be good because it smelled amazing! They tasted a little like chicken, but with a more robust flavour; you could say they’re a cross between chicken and beef? Or something like that. They actually taste pretty unique, so it’s hard to describe. Anyway, I would say this experiment is a 7/10 because crocodile meat is pretty damn expensive and I don’t think we’ll buy a lot of it in the future. At least we now know if we’re lost in a croc-infested forest somewhere, we know that crocodiles taste delicious.
- Crocodile tail fillet, we used some that was imported from Australia so I assume this meat is from the famous salties they have there (the biggest and meanest crocodiles on Earth).
- Smoked paprika
- Garlic powder
- Olive oil
- Mixed salad to serve.
- Heat your cast-iron pan or grill until nice and smoky
- Add the oil
- Season the croc fillets with the spices and salt
- Pan fry for 4-5 minutes on each side until cooked through. I decided to eat this one well-done instead of medium rare, just to be sure.
- Let rest for a few minutes and serve with salad. Enjoy!
So, have you ever tried crocodile meat? How did you make it? Did you like it?
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