Bad Tattoo head chef and dough boy Donnie Carlson said the crocodile pizza may be the weirdest ingredient they’ve worked with yet. The specialty item is available on their menu now until the end of the summer and pairs well with a bitter IPA. Jordyn Thomson - Western News

Bad Tattoo head chef and dough boy Donnie Carlson said the crocodile pizza may be the weirdest ingredient they’ve worked with yet. The specialty item is available on their menu now until the end of the summer and pairs well with a bitter IPA. Jordyn Thomson - Western News

Foodie Friday: crocodile pizza at Bad Tattoo

Take a trip down under and try the Penticton brewery’s newest creation

Bad Tattoo Brewing’s newest creation will have you saying ‘Crikey!’ once you’ve tasted their crocodile pizza.

Specially ordered from a farm in Australia, the Penticton brewery and restaurant decided to go wild and experiment with crocodile meat–the tail meat specifically. Donnie Carlson, head chef and dough boy at Bad Tattoo, said the idea to use an exotic meat as a topping arose during the recent Snakebite Film Festival.

“We were looking at funny stuff to do for a special. Our friend, Carl Meadows, held the Snakebite Film Festival a few weeks ago and we wanted to get rattlesnake for that night as a cross-promotion,” said Carlson. “But Sysco can’t stock it anymore, it used to be something you could buy… then we found the crocodile.

“It’s a farmed product out of Australia and what we’re using is the tail, so it’s a tail fillet.”

Carlson said the meat comes frozen and staff only thaw as needed to preserve its freshness. He said this meat has surprising characteristics that one wouldn’t expect.

“It’s actually really high in protein and super low in fat compared to chicken. It’s just one of those things that’s weird, so people don’t eat it. But it’s actually not as weird as you expect when you eat it,” said Carlson. “It’s very similar to halibut in flavour, but it’s kind of similar to catfish in texture. So it’s tougher when it’s raw, and the joke of it tasting like chicken is very true.

“That’s why we designed the pizza as like a barbecue chicken pizza. Except it’s barbecue sauce, ranch, and croc… If I didn’t tell you (it was crocodile), you probably wouldn’t notice.”

All dough for Bad Tattoo pizzas is made fresh, in-house and Carlson said they make a simple thin crust to “focus on the toppings.” A pizza takes about four minutes to fully cook in the restaurant’s pizza oven, another reason why thin crust is an advantage.

READ ALSO: Nothing instant about this Okanagan restaurant’s “ramen risotto”

Carlson said the biggest challenge, aside from keeping the meat fresh, is overcooking. He explained that crocodile meat can dry out and become tough if it spends too long cooking, but because of the short cooking time in their oven they can avoid that.

“It kind of is the perfect cooking method for it. Goes on raw, comes out super quick so it stays tender,” said Carlson. “It’s actually not that chewy because we cut it thin as well.”

The crocodile meat is paired with a mild-spiced barbecue sauce, crunchy onions, cilantro, mozzarella cheese and poblano ranch. Carlson said this specialty pizza will be available “all spring and summer” until the end of September until they switch back to their fall and winter menu.

Carlson said the crocodile pizza is best paired with a bitter IPA, but said any beer goes with pizza in general.

“This is definitely one of the weirdest ingredients we’ve brought in, even in the process of getting it. No one carries crocs, so we had to get it special-ordered in,” said Carlson. “It’s pretty expensive but it’s just too cool not to do it. And working with any raw product gives you that extra layer of challenge in cooking it. But I think it’s worth that challenge because it’s just such a unique item.

“How often can you say you’ve had something like crocodile?”

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
JordynThomson 
Send Jordyn Thomson an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Halle Krawczyk of Salmon Arm celebrated her 12th birthday in November 2020. Halle suffers from a rare form of cancer that she requires surgery for but her family is unable to get funding to go to the leading surgeon in the United States. (Contributed)
Salmon Arm parents raise funds for surgery to combat daughter’s rare cancer

Parents want renowned U.S. expert to do surgery on 12-year-old but they say MSP won’t pay

Salmon Arm RCMP officers responded to two public COVID-19 demonstrations held in Salmon Arm on Saturday, Nov. 28. (File photo)
Organizer of Salmon Arm COVID-19 demonstration fined $2,000 by RCMP

Police said some participants weren’t aware of the public health order prohibiting gatherings

A man wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Vancouver on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
212 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

A total of 490 cases remain active; 15 in hospital

Salmon Arm RCMP say patrons are harassing local businesses over mask requirements. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Police urge respect after Salmon Arm businesses report being harassed over mask rules

Wearing of masks in businesses and public spaces is currently mandated by the province

The video was used for (KGH Foundation - YouTube)
Okanagan filmmaker, poet win at L.A. Film Awards

Spoken word artist Shane Koyczan wrote and filmmaker David Nault produced the commercial

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Join Rob Dinwoodie and bandmates for a Cowboy Christmas, Dec. 11 and 12 at Vernon and District Performing Arts Center. Seating is cabaret style on the stage for an intimate concert. (Contributed)
North Okanagan cowboys go virtual for Christmas

Cowboy Christmas streamed Dec. 11-25

Vernon is getting in the Christmas spirit with many homes decorating with lights and extras. (Caitlin Clow - Morning Star)
Christmas lights tour mapped out by Vernon realtor

More than 20 of the community’s best lit houses make up annual tradition

Kettle bells sit aligned in an indoor fitness studio. (PIxabay.com)
1 COVID-19 case at a B.C. fitness studio leads to 104 more infections, 6 school exposures

According to case data released by Fraser Health, one case of the novel coronavirus carries a big impact

Vehicles drive past a display thanking essential workers in Burnaby, B.C. on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
B.C. changing COVID-19 case reporting as virus spread continues

Manual counting takes more time, leads to errors

The Wrong Turn Tavern in Keremeos is trying to lighten the mood during this pandemic. (Facebook photo)
Keremeos Tavern has fun with some not-so-fun restrictions

Sign posted at the Tavern warns if you don’t wear a mask you must strip naked

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Sunny the cat, who jumped out of the truck at the Revelstoke Landfill earlier this month, was quickly reunited with his owners. (Contributed)
Cat returns home with the help of two landfill workers

Sunny jumped out of the truck at the landfill in November

Most Read