“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” ― Julia Child

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Clam Chowdah

A new visitor to my digital home correctly guessed the Name This Food! food. Her name is Ally, she's from Sacramento, California ( don'tcha wish they all could be California girls?) and she writes an impressive food blog entitled A Girl And Her Fork.

The correct answer, of course, was
  Clam Chowder.

New England Clam Chowder to be precise. As opposed to Manhattan Clam Chowder. Both great soups in their own right. But markedly different.

So what's the difference, I hear you cry?
Well, Manhattan Clam Chowder has a tomato base...

Like so.
New England clam chowder is a milk- or cream-based chowder, traditionally made with potatoes, onion, bacon or salt pork, flour, and clams. Adding tomatoes to clam chowder was shunned, to the point that a 1939 bill making tomatoes in clam chowder illegal was introduced in the Maine legislature. It is occasionally referred to as Boston Clam Chowder in the Midwest. 
Manhattan clam chowder has clear broth, plus tomato for red color and flavor. In the 1890s, this chowder was called "New York clam chowder" and "Fulton Fish Market clam chowder." Clam chowder, in its cream-based New England version, has been around since the mid-18th century, and no mention of any Manhattan chowder has been found that predates the 1930s. Many restaurants in northern Rhode Island sell both red and white chowders, while the southern coast favors clear and white chowders. Often they are served alongside clam cakes.
According to Good Eats, the addition of tomatoes in place of milk was initially the work of Portuguese immigrants in Rhode Island, as tomato-based stews were already a traditional part of Portuguese cuisine. Scornful New Englanders called this modified version "Manhattan-style" clam chowder because, in their view, calling someone a New Yorker was an insult.

My favourite is definitely the New England Clam Chowder, and there is no finer place to get it in my opinion than (whispered in reverential hushed tones) Ivar's.

Some of that wonderful chowder.

Ivar's is a Northwest institution, started by Ivar Haglund in Seattle in 1938, as an eaterie next to the newly built Seattle Aquarium, located at what is now Pier 54. The fish bar was short-lived, however. On July 22, 1946, Haglund opened a new restaurant, Ivar's Acres of Clams, at the same location. The aquarium closed ten years later, but the restaurant remains. And that chowder is awesome.

Anyhoo, what's the new Name This Food! food?

Yes, my thumb really does look like that.
Name it!


  1. Have you ever heard of Micorcan clam chowder? Where I used to live in Florida, this is all you could get. Spicy!

  2. http://whatscookingamerica.net/History/Chowder/MinorcanChowder.htm

  3. Wow, sounds good. I will have to try my hand at that recipe. Mmmmm. I love me some spicy.


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