Carnivores, Theologians, and Cajuns REJOICE! Apparently, this isn’t “new” news, but it’s still welcome news now that it has hit a grander scale. In accordance with the Catholic Church, Alligator is part of the reptile family which is close enough to fish where it gets a holy Thumbs Up! For those who may not know, Lent is the time between Ash Wednesday and Easter where it is a time of personal sacrifice, fasting, and, the most critical part for this blog post, no meat on Fridays. This of course is a gross over simplification of the season, but for now it will do. As part of the whole “Abstaining from Meat” part, Catholics are still allowed to consume fish and seafood in limited quantities. Recently on NPR, my fiance heard a story that blew my mind: Alligator is still allowed on the menu!
As per the report, Arch Bishop Gregory Michael Aymond wrote a letter stating:
Yes, the alligator is considered in the fish family and I agree with you, God has created a magnificent creature that is important to the state of Louisiana and it is considered seafood. Wishing you God’s blessing, I am sincerely in Christ, Most Reverend Gregory M. Aymond, Archbishop of New Orleans.
The significance of this is that the Arch Bishop Aymond is of the Arch Diocese of New Orleans, where Alligator is a larger part of the local diet. Up here in upstate NY Alligator isn’t nearly as common and is seen more as a rarity. Down in Cajun country, however, I’m sure that the allowable addition of an alternate menu (non)meat will greatly aid restaurant owners. According to the article, Jay Nix of Parkway Bakery claims that he can go through as much as 400lbs of shrimp a day. Being able to balance those orders out with a lil’ gator would be a nice change of pace for owners.
So next time you’re out to eat during Lent and you’re perusing the menu for something depriving, holy, and still tasty? Remember, Gator, along with other reptilian delicacies such as Turtle and the oh-so humble entree of Frog Legs, get the divine approval!