October 16, 2009
Where Florida Gators Become Nuggets and Handbags
By Dave Hurteau
From the Associated Press:
The knives are sharpened and the shiny steel gurneys bloodied at All American Gator Products, the end of the line for about 1,000 alligators killed during this year's hunting season in Florida.
It's the busiest time of year here at one of the state's largest gator processing plants, where the toothy reptiles make their first stop on a path from the swamp to a hamburger bun, a basket of nuggets or a spot on a shelf full of handbags, wallets and souvenir heads. . . .
The facility smells like, well, alligator — a fishy, overpowering stench that takes a little getting used to.
To owner Brian Wood, "It smells like money. . . .”
Last year, Wood had about $1.2 million in sales, 70 percent from alligator meat, which generally goes for up to $9 a pound.