Gatorama’s own sausage gets USDA approval for labeling

PALMDALE — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved a label to be affixed to a new product coming soon to local supermarkets — a spicy new sausage that’s a blend of alligator meat and pork.

“Well, Hallelujah!” was the reaction from Patty and Allen Register, owners of Gatorama and Crocodile Adventures. They learned last Thursday, June 6, that it had been approved, and the OK cleared them to have their meatpacker send the labels to be printed and to get ready to produce their first shipment.

What that means, said Ms. Register, is that “we can sell our sausage to consumers and through grocery stores. We will have a new batch made this next week and packaged for sales to the consumer!”

The next step is to get something worked out with grocers. She said Cheney Brothers is to include their Gatorama Sausage in an upcoming show for retailers.

From beginning to end, the engineering and USDA approval process took five months. “It was super fast,” said Mr. Register.

Yes, foods like this need to be engineered. It took just the right mix of pork, which contains fat, with alligator meat that has next to none, in order to make the product bind well, because chemists had to work out just the right formula to give it a little zing with spices.

They will sell it packaged at the park soon, as well as online, but they already do sell it in prepared (grilled, smoked) dishes out of their food trailer inside the compound.

Labels are at the printer being printed, but Ms. Register said she still wondered about one thing.

“I don’t get why other gator places don’t have to put the pork in its name… and they are sold online, too! The only thing I can figure is they must not be USDA inspected! I’m glad we have that under our belt. Now, I understand the USDA’s ‘hoops’! “Just getting that approval was cause for celebration for us,” she said.

On a related note, the “Great Food Truck Race” episode that features Gatorama in the opening will air July 9, according to the Fort Myers News-Press. That episode will feature the host and Ms. Register preparing something that’s earned the moniker #FancyGatorDish.

Chris Felker can be reached at cfelker@newszap.com

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