Clam Chowder 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. Many regional variations exist, but the two most prevalent are New England or “white” clam chowder and Rhode Island / Manhattan or “red” clam chowder.
Introduction of the Tomato – Tomato-based clam chowders came about with the new-found popularity of the tomato in the mid-1800s and the large population of Italians in New York and the Portuguese fishing communities of Rhode Island. By the 1930s, this tomato version had come to be called Manhattan clam chowder.
Check out this recipe:
- 15 ounce (425 g) canned potatoes, or 2 small boiled potatoes
- 28 ounce (794 g) canned tomatoes in juice, or 2 large tomatoes and tomato juice
- 6.5 ounce (184 g) canned chopped clams, minimum
- 2 stalks of celery
- Core the tomatoes. Remove the pale parts and the seeds; the “meat” of the tomato will be what will be used. For canned tomatoes, a strainer will be helpful.
- Chop all non-clam ingredients to match the clams in size.
- Optionally add spices. Suggestions offered include dill seed, basil, thyme, celery seed, tarragon, marjoram, and/or fresh cilantro. Alternatively, oregano can be used in lieu of the marjoram.
- Cook the chowder, without boiling, till the celery begins to soften.