Clam Chowder Research Paper

702 Words3 Pages
If you were asked to guess the most popular soup in the United States what would your guess be? Most likely your answer would be the classic American chicken noodle soup, while that answer is technically correct, chicken noodle is not the only number one soup in the nation, the other soup at the top position might surprise you. According to, clam chowder shares the number one spot of most popular soup in the nation with chicken noodle. Clam chowder is also believed to be one of the first dishes to be introduced to the American colonies, making it one of the oldest dishes in the nation which explains its popularity. But is its age the only reason for the soup’s popularity, what makes the dish a specialty staple in American…show more content…
According to America's Founding Food: The Story of New England Cooking by Keith W.F. Stayley and Kathleen Fitzgerald, “The English word ‘chowder’ probably derives from Chaudière, cauldron, and from the name for a fisherman’s stew, la chaudrée” (95). It makes sense then that chowder is most likely derived from the name for a fisherman’s stew because of clams being in the chowder, but it’s interesting that it also might derive from the word cauldron. This is most likely so because of what the soup was cooked in when it was first created, there was no fancy kitchen equipment like we have today, it was very simplistic with kettles, utensils, and plates. There are 2 main types of clam chowder, the New England clam chowder and Manhattan clam chowder. New England clam chowder tends to have a thicker consistency and uses milk or cream as a base for the soup. Also, the New England chowder does not include any vegetables except for potatoes. It is also usually topped off with oyster crackers to help thicken the soup. This version of clam chowder is the most popular of all the different variations of clam chowder, it can be found all over the country, but especially in the North East where the soup was first…show more content…
In his cookbook, Splendid Soups, chef James Peterson states that in Manhattan clam chowder, “[he] usually ends up tasting everything except the clams,” (302). The Manhattan chowder uses ingredients that will help compliment the flavor of the clam so much so that you do not end up focusing all of your attention to the clam flavor and really take a moment to enjoy a soup with varying flavors rather than having just a clam soup. Another big difference between the two chowders is that the Manhattan clam chowder contains tomatoes, which fans of the classic New England clam chowder hate. They despise the idea of tomatoes in clam chowder so much so that in 1939 Assemblyman Seeder from Maine attempted to pass legislation making it illegal to put tomatoes in clam chowder. Another lesser popular version of clam chowder is the Minorcan clam chowder, similar to the Manhattan clam chowder it has a tomato base for the soup, but unlike the other two version of the chowder we have already discussed this chowder has a unique ingredient in it, datil pepper. This pepper was originally indigenous to Cuba but was brought over to Florida hundreds of years ago, which is

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