Friday, January 21, 2011

Food Fact Friday: Clam Chowdah

Happy Friday! Today is National Clam Chowder Day. In most parts of the country,  it’s a perfect day to eat a nice steamy bowl of this goodness….even better in a bread bowl. Here is some history about chowdah…

According to the food historians, the word chowder and its application to fisherman's stew comes from France, where they have “la chaudree”, which basically means cauldron. Chowder was traditionally a fish stew (no clams), that was brought over from Europe with the settlers. It was a great way to for fisherman to use all the parts of the fish in an economical and palatable way.

As the years went on, clams and quahogs were found to be plentiful in New England, and chowders were often made with those ingredients instead. But due to regional differences, there are many interpretations on clam chowder. Here are the two basic types.
New England Clam Chowder: Most likely the first type of clam chowder created, there is no “authentic” recipe per se. They often include clams, cream, butter, pork fat and potatoes. By 1836, New England clam chowder was already well-known in Boston and served at Ye Olde Union Oyster House, the nation's oldest continuously operating restaurant.

Manhattan Clam Chowder: Some characterize it more as a vegetable/tomato based soup with clams. It was said to have its roots in Rhode Island, where cooks were known to add tomatoes to New England style chowders. Tomatoes were plentiful, and they believed it was an obvious choice to add them to the chowder.

New England Clam Chowder is my favorite, I used to eat bowls of it working at an Oyster House here in Florida. What’s your favorite type of Clam Chowder??


cyclicalunemployment said...

I need education in all things seafood; thanks for showing the pic of clams. that helps a lot!

purplebirdblog said...

Oh man, New England clam chowder in a sourdough bowl!! :) And chowdahhhhhhhhh is just fun to say. Everyone say it with me now, "CHOWDAHHHHHHHHH!"

Jennifer said...

mmmmmmm I want some chowdahhh now! hehe

I'm from new england and I FLIPPING love all kids of clam chowder!

Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

Lisa said...

What an interesting education on clam chowder! I used to live in boston and could really appreciate the new england version. But, in general, I would feel much better after eating the Manhattan version!

Hope said...

My favorite without a doubt is New England clam chowder! Mmm..the best I ever had was in Boston. I still dream about it :)

Erika @ FoodFitnessFun said...

I love New England Clam Chowder. I'm a sucker for creamy soups! <3

Kate (What Kate is Cooking) said...

Clam chowder is my favorite! It's one of the foods I miss the most as a vegetarian.