Yum yum… crocodile meat, anyone?

By Czeriza Valencia (The Philippine Star)

It’s lean, MSG-free, preservative-free, and it’s supposed to be an aphrodisiac. And it’s proudly made in the Philippines.

A company is tempting the Filipino palate with adobo, burgers and hotdog – consisting of crocodile meat.

Coral Agri-Venture Farm, which started out as an ordinary livestock and poultry farm, has branched out to selling processed meat and ready-to-eat meals using crocodile meat after it received accreditation from the government to engage in crocodile raising in 2000.

“It’s really a challenge to cook crocodile meat,” said Careen Belo-Solco, marketing manager of Coral Farm. “If you don’t know how to cook crocodile meat properly, it turns out tough. So we did the cooking.”

Some of the dishes that can be made from crocodile meat are sisig, bicol express, sausages and tapa.

Or you can try crocodile cooked a la pata tim or crispy pata style. How about crocodile herbal soup?

“It’s a soup made with seven Chinese herbs. The herbs are cooked into a soup and the meat is just dropped in,” said Solco.

Tapa, tocino, sisig and Hungarian sausage Dundee crocodile meat is being sold for P195 per 100 to 200 grams while a kilo of crocodile fillet, ribs, legs or tenderloin goes for P500 to P600.

The farm also sells crocodile cross bone, leg parts and fillet to various restaurants in Palawan, Davao and Quezon City.

A kilo of uncooked crocodile meat is sold for P400 while lechon crocodile costs between P800 to P1,000.

“We also teach the chefs how to cook the meat. It’s best cooked through boiling or using pressure cookers like you would cook beef,” Solco said.

The farm also sells tanned skin, teeth and skull of slaughtered crocodile, which are used to make bags and jewelry.

The farm raises its crocodiles in a 10-hectare pen. The hatchlings used for breeding are obtained from the Palawan Wildlife and Conservation Center.

“It’s mostly the tourists who look for crocodile meat,” says Solco.

Coral Farm also supplies crocodile meat to Kinabuch Bar and Grill in Palawan, River Walk Grill in the Davao Crocodile Farm, and Golden Fortune restaurant in Quezon City.

The farm is now preparing to export its products to Russia and China.