In a nutshell, the three most common types of clam chowder are:
- New England Clam Chowder: This type of clam chowder is a creamy, white chowder made with potatoes, onions, and clams and thickened with cream or milk. It’s typically seasoned with salt, pepper, and sometimes bacon and is a popular dish in the northeastern United States.
- Manhattan Clam Chowder: This type of clam chowder is a tomato-based chowder that originated in New York City. It’s made with clams, tomatoes, carrots, celery, onions, and potatoes and is typically seasoned with garlic, oregano, and basil. It is reddish and is lighter in texture than New England clam chowder.
- Rhode Island Clam Chowder: This clam chowder is a clear broth chowder made with quahog clams, potatoes, onions, and salt pork. It’s seasoned with herbs like thyme and bay leaves and is often served with oyster crackers. It’s a regional specialty of Rhode Island and is less common than New England and Manhattan clam chowder.
What Is Clam Chowder?
Clam chowder is an iconic American dish composed of clams, potatoes, and onions. Enjoyed worldwide, this traditional soup can be found anywhere from restaurants to outdoor cafes and markets.
There are various variations of this chowder dish and each has their own distinct taste; however, they all share similar ingredients as base.
Most recipes feature milk or cream as the basis for their chowder, creating a thick consistency reminiscent of creamy white broth. Oyster crackers may be added for additional thickening purposes and this dish can often be found throughout the country.
Clams provide this type of chowder its distinctive seafood taste, which can range from mild to strong depending on the recipe used to make it.
An essential ingredient is stock. Some recipes use milk to produce a thick and creamy broth while others can use water or clam juice to produce clear broths.
Russet potatoes are ideal for this dish as their fluffy texture helps thicken up the stock.
Utilizing small diced potatoes will result in smoother and more even soup texture, as they absorb more of the broth for an enhanced flavor profile.
This chowder recipe is the perfect comfort food to serve up on a chilly winter day! Quick and simple to prepare, it provides all of the warmth and delicious flavor your family craves – try this dish today!
The Origin And History Of Clam Chowder?
Clam chowder boasts an interesting history. Originating in French fishing villages from Bordeaux to Brittany, clam chowder was likely served as a welcome meal after fishermen returned from a day spent out at sea.
Chowder can now be made using many ingredients, from clams to potatoes, salt pork, and onions – though clam chowder remains one of the classic seafood chowders.
Cream of mushroom soup can be prepared using either a creamy broth, red soup base or even clear soup base, depending on its regional availability – usually featuring milk to create a thick and creamy texture.
Some parts of the country prepare chowder with tomatoes instead of milk or cream for an alternative option to its more well-known New England variant that uses cream as its primary base ingredient.
There are various varieties of clam chowder, but none more well-known and celebrated than New England-style chowder. Made with milk or cream and thickened with oyster crackers, it remains one of America’s favorite comfort foods.
Manhattan Chowder has long been popular and typically features tomatoes as the star ingredient. While initially more well-known in Manhattan itself, its popularity is now spreading nationwide.
Rhode Island Chowder is an exquisite variation of clam chowder that is lighter than New England or Manhattan chowder, made with littleneck clams which add sweet flavors that complement other flavors in the soup.
New England Clam Chowder
The classic New England Clam Chowder recipe boasts delectable chunks of clams, potatoes, and bacon for the ultimate comfort food on a cold winter’s day. Not to mention it’s simple enough for anyone in your household or group of friends to prepare! Plus it makes an unforgettable dish perfect for parties!
The key to making classic chowder is using fresh clams instead of frozen ones, as frozen ones tend to taste more like watery canned varieties without offering that rich, vibrant taste that fresh clams do.
Make this delicious chowder with any variety of clams, such as quahogs, littlenecks, cherrystones and top-necks. When adding them to the soup it is important to steam the clams beforehand in order to preserve their shape and avoid becoming soggy and lost their structure.
Russett potatoes are ideal for making chowder, as their soft, creamy texture does not leave behind waxy residue like other varieties do.
Once your base soup has been created, add in the clams and cook them until tender. At that point, add all other ingredients as necessary and let simmer until the soup becomes thick and creamy.
For thickening your chowder, it is necessary to create a roux using butter and flour that has been cooked together before adding milk gradually. As with all recipes using liquid ingredients such as broth or stock, constant whisking of your roux while adding milk will prevent lumps forming which may become difficult or impossible to remove once your soup has finished simmering.
Once your soup is ready, it can either be stored in the fridge for three to four days or frozen for six months. Thawed chowder may be enjoyed immediately; however, for optimal results wait three or four days so that its flavors have time to mix and mature.
Manhattan Clam Chowder
Manhattan Clam Chowder combines tomato and clam juice with salty bacon, tender potatoes, and an aromatic blend of herbs for the perfect clam soup experience. Although similar in style, Manhattan Clam Chowder stands out as having its own distinct taste that will keep you coming back for more.
This effortless Manhattan chowder features a light tomato broth to highlight the delicious clam flavor, as well as onions, garlic and pepper for extra depth of flavor. Add in some thyme for even more oomph!
This recipe for creamy corn chowder is an ideal dish to create for family and friends, since it’s simple and can be served hot or cold. Furthermore, using your slow cooker makes this chowder recipe even easier to manage with busy lives!
One of the many great advantages of this chowder recipe is that it can be made using fresh or canned ingredients, even your homemade clam broth! That way you’ll get plenty of that iconic clam flavor without resorting to canned products!
What truly sets this chowder apart is its distinctive earthy, truffle-like flavor. While slightly salty, its unique profile cannot be found elsewhere.
To create this delicious chowder, first steam and rinse whole clams before adding them to a pot. Stirring in additional ingredients such as onions, carrots and celery should follow before simmering the clams for several minutes before serving. If desired, thickening could also be achieved by pressing some potatoes against the side of the pot so they break down more quickly into pieces.
Rhode Island Clam Chowder
Canned soup is a beloved and timeless summertime classic, and has become one of the world’s most widely consumed foods. Over one billion cans are manufactured and sold annually worldwide!
Though some purists maintain that all clam chowder is created the same, there are actually three distinct styles of this dish: New England, Manhattan and Rhode Island chowders use various combinations of clams, vegetables and dairy products in their creation.
New England-style chowder is perhaps the most iconic type. Crafted with heavy cream as the main ingredient, this dish typically pairs perfectly with oyster crackers for added crunchiness and to break up its creamy consistency.
Manhattan style chowder offers another variety, which does not rely on milk or cream as its base and uses tomato juice as its foundation instead. Though less thick or creamy than its counterparts, this hearty soup still packs a satisfying punch when finished off with fresh vegetables and clams for topping.
Start with a light broth for your Manhattan chowder recipe – one with rich, savory notes but without being overly heavy or salty – which should feature rich textures.
To create the ultimate chowder, be sure to use fresh, medium to large hard-shell clams (known in New England as “quahogs”) with their bellies intact – this will enrich the broth while giving your chowder an added heft and chewy texture.
To prepare the clams, rinse them several times under cold water before placing them into a large pot with 2 cups of cold water and adding 2 tongs. Steam the clams for 3-6 minutes using tongs to check periodically; once opened remove from steamer with tongs and transfer to another bowl using tongs; discard any that remain closed and strain through a fine-mesh sieve into another bowl for serving later on.