Clam Chowder

Clam chowder always contains clams and potatoes. Beyond those two fundamentals, it varies from region to region: Manhattan chowder has no milk or cream and is thick with many kinds of chopped-up vegetables, like minestrone. New England chowder is made with milk or cream and enriched with the flavor of salt pork. Rhode Island chowder is a creamy bisque with just enough tomatoes to turn it blushing pink. It traditionally is served with fried clam cakes on the side. Southern New England chowder, found along the Connecticut shore and into Rhode Island, is made without milk or cream and with no vegetables other than potatoes and onions. It primarily is minced clams and their nectar – a bracing grey broth designed to pique appetite before a full-bore shore dinner. Oregon chowder features clams and nuggets of potato. It ranges from elegant to rib-sticking and usually is flavored with smoked bacon or salt pork. It is thick enough that when it is served with a pat of butter on top, the butter forms a pool that does not blend until it is stirred in. Minorcan chowder, unique to St. Augustine, Florida, looks like Manhattan chowder but it is made with locally-grown datil peppers. Like their botanical cousin, the habanero, datils pack heat.

Restaurants With This Dish

Neptune’s Net


Chowder Barge


Westfair Fish & Chips


3 folded-over, paper-thin pancakes accompanied by a globe of pink lingonberry butter
Pancake Pantry


Ice House


Barbara’s Fishtrap


Clam Chowder Recipes

Clear Broth Clam Chowder


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