Python pizza is on the menu for Florida restaurant-goers, joining other delicacies like alligator and frog on what is known as the “Everglades Pizza.”
The strange pie is the specialty of Evan’s Neighborhood Pizza, located in the Florida Gulf Coast city of Fort Myers. The python pizza features meat from the Burmese python, which brave eaters have said is tasty but a bit chewy.
“It was just to create talk about the shop and being creative and this thing literally just went viral,” says Evan Daniell, the owner of Evan’s Neighborhood Pizza. “People talk about it all the time and whether it’s negative or positive, it really doesn’t matter because the fact is: we can make it and it’s delicious.”
A lot of work goes into making the python pizza palatable for customers. To take some of the gaminess out of the meat, Daniell said the chef marinates it for several hours, then slices them into what he calls “snake slivers.”
The pizza has become a Florida delicacy. Though the Burmese python is not native to Florida like the alligator and frog legs served on the menu, the snakes have become prevalent after being introduced.
“They get them as pets and when they get too big, they release them here,” said Roberto Torres, a field officer with The Nature Conservancy who estimated that there are tens of thousands of the giant snakes in Florida.
Daniell said the Everglades Pizza was originally invented for the restaurant’s Facebook page mainly as a way to get people talking, but he said it’s taken off in popularity.
“We’ve actually averaged one to two a month,” Evan told the News-Press.com back in 2012. “It’s a mix. Locals who are used to the idea of frog legs and gator, and tourists who want to try something completely different.”