Did you know Crocodile meat has a high nutritional value compared to beef and pork? In fact, it has a much lower fat content than chicken and has very high protein levels. Crocodile meat is considered white meat and has a delicate flavour so the use of strong marinades is not recommended.
It does however tend to have a slightly higher cholesterol level than other meats. The more favourable cuts of meat are satay, striploin, tail fillet and Tenderloin.
Crocodile rearing is on the increase in Kenya, especially with the ban on game meat. It is the only other game meat apart from ostrich allowed for human consumption. It has become a big source of employment for many Kenyan youths who have taken to Ostrich or Crocodile farming. Statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture reveal that there are over 60 crocodile farms in the country – with most situated along the Kenyan coast where tourism is concentrated.
The breeding and export of crocodiles and crocodile products are subject to approval by the minister for wildlife and accredited under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), an international agreement between governments whose aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.
CITES offers protection to over 33,000 species of animals and plants including crocodiles. The Crocodile Producers Association of Kenya (CPAK), which started as an association representing producers from the Coast, now hopes to turn Kenya into a fully-fledged commercial crocodile producer.
How to Cook Crocodile Meat
Crocodile is easy to prepare and cook. It is best cooked from frozen since during the thawing process most of the moisture runs out decreasing the flavour. It should be cooked for 2 minutes on either side and then allowed to stand for a few minutes.
It is best served just cooked (in red meat terms, medium-rare). Remove excess fat after cooking. Do not use a large number of ingredients (other than herbs or spices) – no more than 3 is recommended.
If frying, always use butter or olive oil as they will not impart a flavour that is unique. Do not use margarine as the hydrogenated fats can emit an unpleasant flavour and prevent you from using other dairy products such as cream in the recipe. Keep it plain and simple.
Where to Eat Crocodile Meat
If you are not into cooking then these 2 popular places in Nairobi have crocodile meat on their menu; the Mamba Village and the Carnivore Restaurant. Mamba Village keeps a Crocodile Farm which is quite a famous tourist attraction. Their pens are home to an estimated 70 Nile crocodiles at the time of writing.
Have you ever tasted crocodile meat? What did you think? Share your experience by leaving a comment below.