You Say Chowder, I Say Chowda: What's Your Style?

Although other kinds of chowder certainly exist, it's really clam chowder that we're most interested in. Since moving to New England, we've discovered that "clam chowder" can mean very different things to different people - how do you like yours? A look at three classics after the jump...

New England Clam Chowder is probably what most of us think of when it comes to chowder. It's thick - in fact, many say that the mark of a true chowder is if you can stand a wooden spoon in the pot without it falling over! It's also chunky with potatoes and clams, creamy white, and minimally seasoned with salt and maybe a pinch or two of dried herbs.

New England Clam Chowder from Cooking for Engineers

Rhode Island Clam Chowder is another variation that we've come across in our time here. It's made with specifically quahog clams, the largest variety of clams and which usually have a distinctly briny taste. While this chowder has potatoes and onions like the New England version, it's made with a clear broth and isn't thickened with cream. Fans say that this lets you taste the true flavor of the clams.

Rhode Island Clear-Broth Quahog Chowder from Leite's Culinaria

Manhattan Clam Chowder is often derided as not being a "real" chowder, but we'd argue that it has its time and place! This soup is actually similar to Rhode Island chowder in that it is brothy instead of creamy, but Manhattan chowder adds one additional ingredient: tomatoes.

Manhattan Clam Chowder from Epicurious

Still, each of these variations contain their own endless variations depending on region and personal taste. How do you like your clam chowder?

Related: Sense of Place: The Food of New England

(Image: Flickr member Sauce Supreme licensed under Creative Commons)