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Wed Sep 26, 2012, 06:47 PM

Clam Chowder - New England or Manhattan?

Manhattan Clam Chowder vs. New England Clam Chowder

You think the rivalry between Manhattan clam chowder and New England clam chowder (sometimes called Boston clam chowder) isn't as serious as Yankees–Red Sox or Rangers-Bruins?

Consider this: in 1939, a bill was introduced in the Maine legislature to make it illegal to add tomatoes to chowder. For decades, New Englanders have viewed tomatoes in clam chowder as an affront to the very essence of soup.

Chowder, New England adherents believe, should be thick, creamy and cream-colored, and that version has been around since at least the 1830s. But leave it to New Yorkers to reinvent something and call it their own. In the mid-1800s, the large Italian population in New York started using tomatoes in their chowder, thinning it out and giving it a reddish color, and hence, a new chowder was born.

But we think if you surveyed even Manhattanites on the superior chowder, they'd clam up and go with New England's.

http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2105715_2105714_2105716,00.html





12 votes, 0 passes | Time left: Unlimited
New England
12 (100%)
Manhattan
0 (0%)
Other
0 (0%)
Robb is a dingbat
0 (0%)
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Disclaimer: This is an Internet poll

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Arrow 30 replies Author Time Post
Reply Clam Chowder - New England or Manhattan? (Original post)
pinto Sep 2012 OP
ProgressiveProfessor Sep 2012 #1
Fortinbras Armstrong Oct 2012 #20
Stinky The Clown Sep 2012 #2
pinto Sep 2012 #3
Stinky The Clown Sep 2012 #4
grasswire Sep 2012 #5
Stinky The Clown Sep 2012 #6
grasswire Sep 2012 #8
Gormy Cuss Sep 2012 #10
grasswire Oct 2012 #14
elleng Sep 2012 #7
Fortinbras Armstrong Oct 2012 #21
elleng Oct 2012 #23
Lugnut Sep 2012 #9
Gormy Cuss Sep 2012 #11
pinto Sep 2012 #12
Gormy Cuss Sep 2012 #13
grasswire Oct 2012 #15
Gormy Cuss Oct 2012 #16
no_hypocrisy Oct 2012 #17
hifiguy Oct 2012 #18
Retrograde Oct 2012 #19
Fortinbras Armstrong Oct 2012 #22
kestrel91316 Oct 2012 #24
pinto Oct 2012 #25
kestrel91316 Oct 2012 #26
pinto Oct 2012 #27
kestrel91316 Oct 2012 #28
pinto Oct 2012 #29
BarbaRosa Oct 2012 #30

Response to pinto (Original post)

Wed Sep 26, 2012, 06:54 PM

1. Adulterating perfectly good chowder with tomatoes is indeed a venal sin n/t

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Response to ProgressiveProfessor (Reply #1)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 09:32 AM

20. Amen, brother

Although the word is "venial".

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Response to pinto (Original post)

Wed Sep 26, 2012, 07:03 PM

2. I literally can't choose

I like New England. No, actually, I don't. I love it.

I like Manhattan. No, actually, I don't. I love it.

I like Rhode Island. No, actually, I don't. I love it.

I also love white clam sauce, red clam sauce, clam fritters, clam rolls, clams casino, clams on the half shell, steamed clams, fried clams.

I cahn't choose a single chowdah.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Reply #2)

Wed Sep 26, 2012, 07:33 PM

3. How do you like your lobster rolls?

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Response to pinto (Reply #3)

Wed Sep 26, 2012, 07:34 PM

4. Mixed with clams!

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Reply #2)

Wed Sep 26, 2012, 09:16 PM

5. what do you consider a clam fritter?

A fried ball containing chunks of clam?

A patty/cake made with crumbs and chopped clams?

I went on quite a search through cookbooks to find the kind of clam thing that my mother called a fritter and that she loved to make at the beach.

Actually, my quest was inspired after ordering clam fritters in your neck of the woods, in Chincoteague or Assateague. They were puffy balls! Hmmmm. Not what I expected.

So last year I searched New England cookbooks. I finally found a recipe similar to my mom's, which was basically chopped or ground clams, crushed saltines, and egg -- formed into patties and fried in butter.

I found that this is more likely called a "clam cake" and more likely to be used farther north than where she grew up, in Connecticut.

Have you ever seen clam cakes or clam patties?

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Response to grasswire (Reply #5)

Wed Sep 26, 2012, 10:05 PM

6. Sparkly and I both recall them from the Connecticut shore where we both grew up.

She in the eastern end of the state, near Rhode Island and me in the west, close to NY.

The best description we can come up with is a doughnut-like fried thing made with clam juice and chunks of clam. They're deep fried.

Are you familiar with hush puppies? Clam fritters are similar in size (and often shape), but lighter and less dense. Hush puppies are made with a cornmeal batter. Clam fritters are made with a flour batter.

Neither of us are at all familiar with the "clam cakes" you describe. As you suggest, maybe they're from further north.


Here are clam fritters as we recall them:






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Response to Stinky The Clown (Reply #6)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 12:26 AM

8. yep, that's what I had in Tidewater Virginia.

Chincoteague, I'm pretty sure.

And many vintage New England cookbooks have that kind of recipe.

I was just looking at my 1939 "New England Cook Book" by Imogene Wolcott that has 11 different clam recipes including "Fannie Dodgers" and "Boat Steerers" (the kind of fritters you know).

Also....clam cakes, "said to be a Maine and Cape Cod dish". Chopped clams, cracker crumbs, clam liquor, and eggs. Shaped into flat cakes and deep fried. My mom's were pan fried in butter, as I said. It's the closest recipe I have found.


Incidentally, this book is just fascinating. Full of lore and local recipes from those shore states. If you ever see a copy, grab it. About 400 pages.

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Response to grasswire (Reply #5)

Sun Sep 30, 2012, 09:02 PM

10. That's clam cake.

They're very popular in Maine. They're always pan fried and never battered. Never saw clam fritters in Maine but fried clams made with whole body Ipswich (soft shell) clams, lightly battered, are a staple.

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Response to Gormy Cuss (Reply #10)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 12:33 AM

14. thank you for the local input

I wish I had one right now!

And I love fried clams, but the belly---not so much.

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Response to pinto (Original post)

Wed Sep 26, 2012, 10:56 PM

7. Born in Manhattan, as was Dad,

so its MANHATTAN!
Don't care about 'chowda,' do understand New Englanders' point of view, but prefer tomato-based clam 'soup.'

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Response to elleng (Reply #7)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 09:33 AM

21. Obviously, living in Manhattan has deadened your taste

Last edited Mon Jul 14, 2014, 08:17 AM - Edit history (1)

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Response to Fortinbras Armstrong (Reply #21)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 11:49 AM

23. Even tho I only 'lived' in Manhattan as long as I was in the hospital in which I was born???

Lived in Brooklyn thereafter, until I was 9, and then to Long Island!

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Response to pinto (Original post)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 01:58 AM

9. New England Clam Chowder is my favorite.

I like a chowder that is so thick it holds a spoon up straight. I think I'll make a big batch this weekend.

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Response to pinto (Original post)

Sun Sep 30, 2012, 09:09 PM

11. I like both home-style New England chowders (which are NOT Boston chowders)

and Manhattan chowder. Chowders in Maine tend to have an unthickened milk or cream broth and whole steamers (Ipswich clams) or whatever other small clams are handy. The thick Boston chowder is okay but not as good IMHO. New England chowders are lightly seasoned and the seafood is the star.

In Manhattan chowders the clams get to duke it out with herbs and tomatoes. It's an entirely different soup and when done right it's great.

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Response to Gormy Cuss (Reply #11)

Sun Sep 30, 2012, 09:24 PM

12. Yeah, in my neck of New England (on the coast, Mass / NH border) chowder was unthickened.

Done simple with little necks, milk, butter, potatoes, onions and black pepper. Sometimes with celery.

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Response to pinto (Reply #12)

Sun Sep 30, 2012, 11:55 PM

13. Yup, that simple.

Although in Maine there would always be a little bacon/pork cracklins thrown in at the last minute.
Celery sometimes, yup.

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Response to Gormy Cuss (Reply #11)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 12:43 AM

15. what ingredients do you think of in Boston chowder? nt

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Response to grasswire (Reply #15)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 01:42 AM

16. Cream, flour, butter, small diced potatoes, minced clams with juices, a little grated onion

a little parsley, sometimes celery, sometimes salt pork. Boston chowders are very thick.

Maine chowders are more like what pinto and I described above -- milk or cream, butter, potatoes(bigger dice,) a little bit of onion, whole clams usually, soft shell or sometimes small hard shells like littlenecks. A small amount of salt pork or bacon is crisped in the saucepan before adding the onions and potatoes. The crisped pork is removed and reserved to crumble back into the finished chowder just before serving. After the onions and potatoes have been softened, the milk or cream is added slowly and brought just to a simmer. The clam juices are then added. When the potatoes are cooked, the heat is shut off and the clams are added. The clams cook within minutes in the residual heat. When the clams are done a few pats of butter are dropped in and the chowder is seasoned to taste with ground black pepper.

Unlike Boston chowders, these northern New England clam chowders have a thin broth with a yellow tint. They're much closer to fish chowders.

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Response to pinto (Original post)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 08:15 AM

17. I like both but they have to be homemade. Canned clam chowder doesn't cut it.

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Response to pinto (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 03:21 PM

18. Chowdah means

NEW ENGLAND Clam Chowdah. It was one of the few things the law school cafeteria made that was actually good rahter than merely edible. But it was in Cambridge. This Minnesota boy developed quite a taste for chowdah during three years in the Bahston area.

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Response to pinto (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 10:35 PM

19. Good Manhattan trumps mediocre Boston

and there's a lot of mediocre Boston clam chowder around: few clams, thickened with enormous amounts of flour. When I was a kid in Western New York, my church used to make up vats of Manhattan-style clam chowder for its annual fair: that's my standard for the tomato-based version. Here in California I don't think I've ever seen it, and what New England style ones I've had are, well, not particularly good. Thick, though.

The best version I ever had was halfway between the two. Back in the early 90s Legal Seafood had a "Low Cal" chowder on the menu: instead of the cream and butter and roux it used a thin seafood broth with enough clams and veggies to make a spoon stand up in it. No tomatoes, but otherwise approaching the Manhattan style.

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Response to pinto (Original post)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 09:57 AM

22. When I was in Umbria

about 30 years ago, I was asked if I could prepare a genuinely American dish. So I got some clams -- what the Italians call vongole -- some potatoes and some pancetta and made a New England style clam chowder. It was a really big hit.

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Response to pinto (Original post)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 03:12 PM

24. I love BOTH styles. Mostly I eat Manhattan style these days because of the veggies and no cream.

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #24)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 03:38 PM

25. I can see folks wanting to avoid the cream. There's a New England off-shoot

that's basically a clam/onion soup. Has the basics but a base of onion soup, not cream. It's pretty good and works well with more green stuff - celery, spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, etc.

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Response to pinto (Reply #25)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 03:43 PM

26. Sorry. I wouldn't eat soup with broccoli or brussels sprouts in it if you paid me.

Well, cream of broccoli is fine, but otherwise HELL NO.

And I LOVE broccoli and brussels sprouts.

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #26)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 11:11 PM

27. LOL. My favorite Brussels sprouts are halved, drenched in olive oil and grilled.

So, I hear you.

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Response to pinto (Reply #27)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 11:16 PM

28. Mine: Halved, pan braised, and dressed lightly with balsamic vinegar.

Practically my favorite veggie in the world like that.

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #28)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 11:26 PM

29. +1

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Response to pinto (Original post)

Mon Oct 22, 2012, 01:16 AM

30. I voted New England

but one of these days I'm going to try a batch of Rhode Island.

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