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New England Clam Chowder

by Ari Weinzweig

I can’t say I’ve seen it in person but I know that there was an episode of the Simpsons where Homer prays and thanks God “for giving us two kinds of Clam Chowder.” This month we’re focusing on New England so we’ll skip over the redder face of what’s commonly called Manhattan clam chowder and focus on the milk-based version we all know and love as New England Clam Chowder.

This is a subject deserving a lot more space than I’ve got here because EVERYONE who makes chowder and everyone who’s studied its history has a different take on it. The Roadhouse recipe (right now, it’s on vacation) has become pretty well a favorite of many folks in town. It’s got a lot of applewood-smoked bacon, which is probably a touch meatier and certainly slightly smokier than older versions that would have likely called for salt pork. For the moment let me just say that we make ours from East Coast Quahogs (pronounced “KO-hog”), the large, hard shelled clams that are native to the area. And that it’s got a really loyal following out at the Roadhouse. If you haven’t had it, ask for a taste next time you’re in!

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