In addition to clams, common ingredients include diced potatoes, salt pork, onions, and celery. In southeastern Rhode Island, it is sometimes called "South County Style" referring to Washington County, where it allegedly originated. You can use any size for chowder but the larger ones … The name is a joke: Long Island is between Manhattan and New England. Manhattan clam chowder also has more vegetables like green peppers, celery, and carrots. We may earn a commission on purchases, as described in our affiliate policy. Those muscles—and what they do—gave the mollusk its name. Clam chowder is a type of soup made with clams and broth, as well as potato, onions and celery. Serving Suggestions. Over the years, many variations of Clam Chowder were invented, but Clam Chowder is mostly made of common ingredients such as potatoes, clams, vegetables, & onions. Its origins are reportedly Portuguese and it was commonly served with clamcakes. Named for its resemblance to a straight razor, this species, easily distinguishable from the Pacific razor clam, also goes by the name Atlantic jackknife. Manhattan clam chowder has a red, tomato-based broth. But we here in the US do miss out on a few international species. Cherrystone – eaten raw or most often used for baked clam appetizers such as clams casino or deviled … The dish originated in the Eastern United States, but is now commonly served in restaurants throughout the country, particularly on Fridays when American Catholics traditionally abstained from meat. Other vegetables are not typically used. REPIN THIS EASY CHOWDER … If you forage the clams yourself, you want to purge them by scrubbing them and then soaking them in clean, sand-free seawater for about half an hour. Earlier in the season, which begins in winter, the tenderness works well in ceviche, but later in the season they still fry up without getting rubbery. The Oxford Companion to Food points out that, while the name should refer only to bivalves that can close their shells completely, this definition actually eliminates a few accepted clam types (razors, for example) and includes oysters and mussels. Tall and light with a crisp shell and a lightly chewy center. The largest of the quahog designations, the name says it all: They’re well suited for traditional chowders, as they’re too big and tough for serving raw and need a good chop followed by a gentle cook. You can use either Cherrystone or Quahog clams for this recipe. Some HTML is OK: link, strong, em. But, even as the food world rapidly globalizes, clams remain steadfastly regional. The Origin of Chowder. The meaty Pacific razor clam grows all along the entire West Coast, even up to Alaska, providing ample supply for the booming export industry, enthusiastic recreational diggers, and a small domestic commercial harvest. Perfectly even edge-to-edge cooking and foolproof results. Named for its resemblance to a straight razor, this species, easily distinguishable … Some consider topneck clams to be a size between littleneck and cherrystone, but the coveted cherrystone is more popular. Bacon. And Europeans also discovered that the shells were valued by Native Americans in the Northeast: polished and shaped quahog clamshells denoted specific achievements, status, and wealth, and as they were used to barter with European colonists, they came to be interpreted as a form of currency, which in turn led to the eventual use of the term “clams” to mean US dollars. Contrary to popular belief, though, if a clam does not open during the cooking process, it doesn't indicate anything is wrong. I live on the bay, so naturally we have lots of clams around. Many regional variations exist, but the three most prevalent are New England or "white" clam chowder, Rhode Island or "clear" clam chowder, and Manhattan or "red" clam chowder. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings in pan. But enough about the clams that you can’t eat: the coasts of the US are (literally!) lined with clams that you can: steamed, sautéed, in pasta, grilled, raw, pan- or deep-fried, or in chowder. Add the onion, celery, garlic, and crushed red pepper … That’s not to say that there aren’t distinct types of clam chowder out there, as well as folks willing to go to blows over which type is the best. Clams in the Solenidae family, of the genera Ensis and Solen, are razor clams. That, unfortunately, is about as close as we can get to defining what a clam is or isn't. There are many different types of chowders such as seafood chowder, corn chowder, potato chowder, fish chowder, clam chowder, and many more. Cook bacon in large saucepan on medium heat until crisp. To make this soup quick and easy, I used canned clams in my clam chowder. Properly stored, cooked clam chowder will last for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. As filter feeders, clams even help clean up their environment, clearing out any toxins from the water as they bubble about in tidal flats and dig deep into beaches with their powerful muscles. [Photographs: Vicky Wasik, unless otherwise noted.]. New Englanders, understandably, are not fans of this city-slick chowder. This will help keep your clam dishes grit-free. Clam chowder is any of several chowder soups in American cuisine containing clams and broth or milk. Starting at over three-inches wide, one clam can weigh as much as a half-pound. These clam varieties range from about 1 to 5 inches in diameter, with littlenecks being the smallest in this list, and chowder clams the largest and oldest at harvest. In other parts of New England, it contains quahogs, broth, potatoes, onions, and bacon. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Place liquid in a sauce pan Add onion, S& P and potato. Cherrystone clams are more tender than quahogs, but quahogs are less expensive. Razor Clams. Clear clam chowder is based on clear broth, and so has a thinner consistency thinner than Manhattan or New England styles. Shijimi, a brackishwater Japanese clam thought to be a hangover cure and often used in miso soup, is classified as an invasive species in the US and is rarely found other than in packaged miso soups or frozen. This variety was more common in the early and mid-20th century, and likely shares most recent common ancestry with New England clam chowder. Clam chowder is a typical soup choice at many seafood establishments as it is a much more satisfying way to enjoy the taste of meaty clams with potatoes, cream, and other ingredients! But commercial cockles tend to be rare in the US: Though they grow up and down the West Coast, in New England, and on the Gulf of Mexico, you’re more likely to see a canned, imported version from Spain or farmed New Zealand cockles in a grocery store than fresh ones from our shores. Saute bacon and ham together, add onions and saute until limp. Since the popularity of New England clam chowder spread throughout the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries, many other variants have developed. While the New England variety is the best known, there are many other variations of clam chowder. But shucking clams to make soup is quite a bit of work, so using canned clams are usually my preferred choice when I want to whip up a quick meal. Clams are one of the best dietary sources of vitamin B12, and … [8], Minorcan clam chowder is a spicy version found in Florida restaurants near St. Augustine and the northeast corner of Florida. According to that definition, any soup containing clams and potatoes is technically a clam chowder. The smallest (and youngest) are littlenecks, the next size up are topnecks, after that are cherrystones and the largest are also referred to as quahogs. Their small size makes for a sweet, tender treat when raw on the half-shell, but, of course, with less meat than larger clams. Comments can take a minute to appear—please be patient! The best kind … Once purged, or if you choose to take a chance and trust your fishmonger’s purging abilities, cover them in a wet towel in your fridge and try to eat them as soon as possible, as they deteriorate rapidly after harvest. As Daniel has pointed out: "A shut-tight clam is, if anything, the most vigorous and lively one in the pot.”. [5] The two parent chowders are typically cooked separately before being poured in the same bowl. There are two common types of razor clams. Crumble bacon. While most fishmongers will purge clams for sale, purging them again in salted water to make sure will save you the extraordinary terrible-ness of biting into a gritty clam. Add water … Cook at medium heat until veggies are tender (about 10 minutes). The datil is believed to have been brought to St. Augustine by Menorcan settlers in the 18th century, and tradition holds among their descendants that it will only thrive and grow in two places: Menorca, Spain, and St. Augustine, Florida.[9]. Ipswich gained fame for its preparation of the clams, shucked and fried whole, belly and all. In 1939, the legislature of the state of Maine considered outlawing the use of tomatoes in clam chowder, but this did not pass.[1]. If you see something not so nice, please, report an inappropriate comment. Drain juice from clams into a large skillet over the onions, celery, potatoes and carrots. Crackers may be crushed and mixed into the soup for thickener, or used as a garnish.[11]. polished and shaped quahog clamshells denoted specific achievements, status, and wealth, The mud's level of acidity changes the color of their shell, complete guide to catching, cleaning, and cooking the Pacific razor clam, read more about geoducks in this full guide, Slow-roasted prime rib with a rich red wine, How to Make Classic Oysters Rockefeller (and Not-So-Classic Oysters Oaxacafeller). [10] Some many late 19th and early 20th century recipes use condensed milk. The earliest-established and most popular variety of clam chowder, the milk-based New England clam chowder, was introduced to the region by French, Nova Scotian, or British settlers, becoming common in the 18th century. If you live (or are vacationing) near the coast, check with your state’s fish and wildlife department to learn the location, season, and types of clams legal to gather there. Some comments may be held for manual review. Set this mixture aside, but do not drain. So much so that, in 1939, Maine introduced a bill that outlawed putting tomatoes in chowder. who had long been eating a version of what is now known as clam chowder. If you happen to find some, they can sub in for clams in nearly any cooked recipe (though in greater number, as they tend to be smaller). One Rhode Island clam chowder has a tomato broth base and potatoes but, unlike Manhattan style, no chunks of tomato and no other vegetables. Before we begin, let’s take some time to examine the origin of chowder. Clam chowder preparation begins with frying bacon along with the aromatics. The story has it that the clam hitch-hiked over from Japan on oysters imported into British Columbia, then spread down the West Coast, where it now reigns supreme in steamed clam dishes, whether sauced with butter, white wine, or broth. The first recipe for Manhattan clam chowder, with tomatoes and no milk, was published before 1919,[4] and the current name is attested in 1934. Their shells are brittle and gape open. When plucked from their shells, clams might not win any beauty contests, but their briny bite and bouncy chew create a covetable combination that works in a wide variety of dishes in cuisines around the world. The scientific name mercenaria comes from the Latin word for "pay," the same root as the word mercenary, for their use as wampum (see above). Learn more on our Terms of Use page. New England clam chowder, occasionally called “Boston Clam Chowder,” is made with the usual clams and potatoes, but it also has a milk or cream base. What kind of clams are used for clam chowder? Set aside. The other common name for these comes from its other main preparation: steamers. New England Clam Chowder, sometimes called Boston Clam Chowder, is prepared with a milk or cream base.With the use of a dairy base, clams, potatoes, and onions, the soup is predominantly white. Here in the United States, on the West Coast, Manila clams reign supreme, while geoduck and razor clams hold court. The abundance of clams in this country means that most clams don’t cost too many clams, as it were, making them a quintessentially American food that is as affordable as it is accessible. Quahog varieties are the norm for chowder. In the 1890s, this chowder was called "Fulton Fish Market clam chowder" and "New York City clam chowder. In 5 cups of water, add potatoes, salt, pepper and all the clam juice. To further extend the shelf life of cooked clam chowder, freeze it; freeze in covered airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. You can read more about geoducks in this full guide. At about two and a half inches wide, these grill up nicely and work for pasta sauces, while still being palatable served raw on the half-shell (the bigger clams get, the more people tend to shy away from eating them raw), but they are also the perfect size for stuffing and broiling. Another Rhode Island clam chowder is made with clear broth; this is common from eastern Connecticut to southeastern Rhode Island. Chowder clams are very big at about 3-inches, and they can be on the tough side, so they are usually chopped. Some will even offer instructions on how to forage for them and have recipes for the local species. Most of the time, though, clams in the US are edible, as the Europeans landing on New World shores learned quickly from indigenous peoples, who had long been eating a version of what is now known as clam chowder. Thinner and more delicate, in both appearance and flavor, than its West Coast counterpart, these slim, mottled brown specimens grace fine-dining tables and tapas restaurants, often prepared extremely simply—steamed, grilled, or a la plancha (seared on a griddle), they’re typically adorned with a light sauce to avoid overwhelming their subtle sweetness. From smallest to largest, generally, countneck, littleneck, topneck, cherrystone, and chowder all describe different widths of the clam—and the word "quahog" itself is sometimes used specifically to describe chowder clams. Heat until warmed through Do not boil. Any one actually from New England will grind you if you suggest any clam beside a quohog for clam chowder that’s New England style. World's Most Enthusiastic Eater of Everything. There are several regional varieties but the most known are New England clam chowder, a cream based version, and Manhattan clam chowder, a tomato and broth based version. 5. In the same pot used to cook the bacon, drain off a bit of the oil. Crisp choux pastry, a rich vanilla bean–infused pastry cream, and an intense chocolate glaze. All products linked here have been independently selected by our editors. The quohog goes by “hard shell” and “round” clam. It’s amazing and super easy to make! Wonderfully creamy New England Clam Chowder is way easier than you think to make at home and about to become a new family favorite!. Common nomenclature around this clam varies up and down the coast, including the simple "hard" or "hardshell," and the preparation depends on the size. "[4], Today, Manhattan-style chowder often contains some vegetables, such as peppers, celery and carrots. We know from the piles of ancient shell remains lining coasts around the world that clams have been eaten for centuries, if not millenia. Long Island clam chowder is part New England-style and part Manhattan-style, making it a pinkish creamy tomato clam chowder. It is commonly made with milk, butter, potatoes, salt pork, onion, and clams. They don’t have a traditional American use, but they are a standard ingredient in laksa, the essential seafood soup of Southeast Asia. Cherrystones are the ideal clams for the classic New England dish (get the recipe). The addition of tomatoes in place of milk was initially the work of Portuguese immigrants in Rhode Island, as tomato-based stews were already a traditional part of Portuguese cuisine. It generally does not contain salt pork or bacon, but is often served with melted butter on the surface. Top Neck – typically eaten raw on the half shell, grilled open or as a baked clam appetizer such as clams casino or deviled clams. There are also many different varieties of clams. Cockles are common.” Really, they’re nearly the same, with the main difference being the direction the ridges on the shell run (from side to side on clams, from hinge to edge on cockles). Despite the geoduck’s regional reputation, the briny, crunchy/chewy meat is finally starting to show up in fine-dining restaurants around the country. But we’re here to talk more about consuming clams than their confusing nomenclature. From the pinhead-size specimens used in Vietnamese cooking to the giant guy that gave up its ghost to serve as decorations for Ivanka Trump’s Thanksgiving table, there are thousands of different species of clams that range in size, shape, and, of course, flavor. Reduce heat to low. Steamers are also known as soft-shells, and as that name implies, these clams have a brittle exterior, leaving shell crumbs behind in the mud of the Northeast, where they grow. Follow her on Twitter @Gastrognome and on Instagram @the_gastrognome. This recipe from my mom has all of the things I think make a great clam chowder including lots of clams, a creamy base, and very small diced potatoes. Herman Melville has a mouth-watering description of New England Clam Chowder, noted to be Queequeg’s favorite food, in Chapter 15 of Moby Dick.Manhattan Clam Chowder, by way … They live alongside Manila clams and share many of their characteristics, including cooking styles, though they take three times as long to cook.). You’ll find them along the New England coast, including near Ipswich, Massachusetts, whose name is often used to describe the species in general, even when grown further up the coast in Maine. Pacific razor clams (Siliqua patula) aka northern razor clam, are oval in shape and have a long, protruding siphon. This easy clam chowder recipe has rich flavor for the perfect bowl of comfort! The broad definition of “chowder” is a seafood soup or stew, usually containing potatoes. The Narragansett tribe of Native Americans waded and dove for these clams, which dominate the clam-scape of the East Coast. Add the butter then add onion, … Award-winning food and travel writer Naomi Tomky uses her unrelenting enthusiasm as an eater, photographer, and writer to propel herself around the world. Use larger clams for chowder. It is usually thick and hearty; however, in the 19th and 20th centuries, it was quite thin. Slow-roasted prime rib with a rich red wine jus and a side of braised oxtail: the perfect holiday centerpiece. Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest recipes and tips! giant guy that gave up its ghost to serve as decorations for Ivanka Trump’s Thanksgiving table, not one single type of clam widely available in the US lands in the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch’s red "avoid" category of sustainability. Post whatever you want, just keep it seriously about eats, seriously. "[citation needed] The "Manhattan" name is first attested in a 1934 cookbook. There are frozen chopped clams, canned clams, fresh clams, and live clams. New England clam chowder is usually accompanied by oyster crackers. There are thousands of different types of clams around the world, nearly all of which somebody eats somewhere, but here’s what you’re most likely to find in the US. (They can occasionally be found in New England, though, and can be imported from Mexico.) Here on the West coast we mostly get manila clams which work perfectly. Exceptional Source of Vitamin B12. Also known by its Japanese name, asari, this is what many on the West Coast know as a steamer clam, and is one of the most widely cultivated clams in the world. On the East Coast, the quahog is queen, shucked and swimming in its own brine on ice at raw bars, stewed in chowders, baked in the shell, steamed in a wine-rich broth, or made into a sauce that gets tossed with linguine. Either will work! And for good reason: they are abundant, tasty, and healthful (full of iron and vitamin B). Rhode Island clam chowder traditionally uses a clear broth. It is believed that clams were used in chowder because of the relative ease of harvesting them. [3] Clam chowder is usually served with saltine crackers or small, hexagonal oyster crackers. It will maintain its best quality for 4 … This variety typically consists of fried cubed salt pork, salted water, potatoes, diced onions, quahog clams, butter, salt, and pepper. What kind of fresh clams to use for this recipe. While countneck are the smallest legally harvestable kind of quahog, littlenecks are the smallest commonly seen on menus and in stores. This variant is popular in many small restaurants across Suffolk County, New York.[6]. Aa guide to the clam varieties you’re most likely to find in the US, from littlenecks and cherrystones to steamers, razor clams, and more. New England clam chowder, occasionally referred to as Boston or Boston-style Clam Chowder,[4] is a milk or cream-based chowder, and is often of a thicker consistency than other regional styles, even though traditionally it is rather thin. Whether you’re buying or foraging for your clams, you want to look for shells without cracks or chips, make sure that the clams are free of "off" smells, and check that each specimen still has a little bit of spring in it—if you touch the clam, it should either open or close. When prepared this way, they’re often served with a bowl of the steaming liquid and clarified butter on the side; dipping the clams in the liquid serves to rinse off any remaining grit before they get dunked in the butter and devoured. Manhattan Clam Chowde r, on the other hand, is where the tomatoes are at. Several chowder soups in American cuisine containing clams and broth or milk tender ( about minutes... 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