I Had No Idea There Were Two Types of Clam Chowder
Moving to New Bedford has been a relatively quiet experience. It’s a beautiful place with a historical vibe, not unlike where I’m from in Virginia. Getting the chance to explore has been so much fun even though I’m not too used to the cold.
When popping into shops and cafés there’s usually only one thing on the menu guaranteed to warm someone up, and that would be soup. When it comes to soup, I keep it classy with a lobster bisque, but if it is ever described as the best in New England, I politely ask for the clam chowder.
It wasn’t until I started wandering into Rhode Island that my mind was blown. There are two kinds of clam chowder, and I had no idea: the New England classic I knew, but new to me is the red, or Manhattan clam chowder. At first, I thought they just added Old Bay to the classic and called it a day, but they don’t. It turns out there are two different recipes with similar ingredients.
This rose-colored concoction came about, according to What's Cooking America, when Italians in New York and the Portuguese in Rhode Island starting making tomato-based chowder. But it was made famous in RI at the former amusement park, Rocky Point Park, in Warwick.
After Googling, I stumbled upon weird Massachusetts laws, and it is, or at one point was, illegal to use tomatoes in the production of clam chowder. I assume that’s where some New Englanders could view it as an abomination. Personally, I loved it, but you know I want your opinion.
Which chowder do you love the most: New England, Manhattan, or both?