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New England Clam Chowder Shares The Number One Spot Of Most Served Soups In The US With Chicken Noodle.

Each year on February 25th people across the nation have a bowl and spoon ready to be filled with clam chowder as they prepare to participate in National Clam Chowder Day.

  • A clam chowder in its simplest form is a soup or stew containing clams or fish. The most common type of chowder includes milk or cream as well as potatoes, though the Manhattan clam chowder has tomatoes.
  • The origin of the word “chowder” is up for a little bit of debate.  The French word for cauldron is “chaudiere.”  The English word “jowter” means fish peddler.  Both are on the hook for possible origins.
  • In chowder, along with the clams, it is common to find diced potatoes, onions (often sautéed with pork or bacon drippings) and celery.
  • Fish chowders were the forerunners of clam chowder. The chowders originally made by the early settlers differed from other fish soups because they used salt pork and ship’s biscuits.
  • Chowder dates back as early as 1795 when chowder was originally made as water-based fish soup and various thickness featuring onions, potatoes, and carrots.
  • In 1832 newspaperwoman, novelist, and ardent advocate of women’s rights, Lydia Maria Child (1802-1880) published her cookbook called The American Frugal Housewife. She described the standard layering technique of chowder-making, but also suggested additional ingredients such as lemons, beer, tomato catsup, and the first written directions to add clams.
  • Clams and oysters were consumed in such quantities along the Atlantic coast by the American Indians that, in some favorable gathering-places, empty shells were piled into mounds ten feet high.
  • By 1836, clam chowder became a staple for sailors, as it was another way to make a constant diet of fish palatable. Most were then a creamy white soup, as a diary, later on, became a more popular addition to the soup in cooler regions where milk animals flourished.
  • In 1939, a bill was introduced in the Maine state legislature that almost made the use of tomatoes in clam chowder against the law.
  • New England clam chowder is usually accompanied with oyster crackers
  • Clam chowder was often served in restaurants on Fridays in order to provide a seafood option for those who abstain from meat every Friday, which used to be a requirement for Catholics before liturgical changes in Vatican II.
  • New England clam chowder shares the number one spot of most served soups in the United States with chicken noodle.
  • Following is a list of the basic clam chowder variants:
    • New England clam chowder
    • Manhattan clam chowder
    • Rhode Island clam chowder
    • Delaware clam chowder
    • New Jersey clam chowder
    • Hatteras clam chowder
    • Minorcan clam chowder
    • Long Island clam chowder
    • Puget Sound clam chowder


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