Love clams and chowder? Everyone’s heard of clam chowder, but did you know that it’s also has a holiday? Clam Chowder Day is a day all about celebrating the history of this beloved fish stew, historical in its origins to the New England area, and helped ultimately inspire creations such as the Manhatten clam chowder, Rhode Island clam chowder, and Long Island clam chowder.
History of Clam Chowder Day
Chowder dates back as early as 1795 when chowder was originally made as water-based fish soup and various thickness featuring onions, potatoes, and carrots.
The origins of this kind of stew are said to have begun with the French, Nova Scotian, and British as it was a commoner’s dish during the 1700s. Crackers and croutons are usually added as a thickener, and it was just around that time when clam chowder started popping up as a popular version within the Boston area.
By 1836, clam chowder became a staple for sailors, as it was another way to make a constant diet of fish palatable. Most were then a creamy white soup, as a diary, later on, became a more popular addition to the soup in cooler regions where milk animals flourished.
Here’s a fun fact; In 1939, a bill was introduced into the Maine state legislature that almost made the use of tomatoes in clam chowder against the law. That’s how much they love their clam chowder!
Today, clam chowder has become a staple for many restaurants all over the United States and has also become more accessible for people when companies such as Campbell’s and Progresso introduced clam chowder in a soup can.
On this day, people either go out to their favorite places to eat clam chowder, buy a can of soup for dinner, or attempt to make their own clam chowder for dinner that day.
NATIONAL CLAM CHOWDER DAY TIMELINE
The New England style of chowder is introduced and becomes a staple dish.
Boston’s Union Oyster House opens, making it one of the oldest restaurants in the United States still operating to this day.
The first-ever recipe for ‘Manhattan Clam Chowder’ is published in the cookbook “Soups and Sauces” by Robert Jones and Virginia Elliott.
Popular cartoon show “Chowder” airs on Cartoon Network.
WHY WE LOVE NATIONAL CLAM CHOWDER DAY
It’s carbaliciously awesome comfort food
New England clam chowder is traditionally served with tiny oyster crackers, while in San Francisco, piping hot clam chowder comes to the table in a bowl of hollowed-out sourdough. Clam chowder and carbs, a perfect combination.
Herman Melville wrote a famous ode to chowder
In his epic Moby Dick, Herman Melville wrote an ode to clam chowder that is so delectable, simply reading the words gets us craving a bowl. “Oh, sweet friends! hearken to me. It was made of small juicy clams, scarcely bigger than hazelnuts, mixed with pounded ship biscuit, and salted pork cut up into little flakes; the whole enriched with butter, and plentifully seasoned with pepper and salt.” We’ll have what he’s having.
In the game of chowder, everyone wins
There are many types of clam chowder and everyone thinks their favorite is the best. New England Clam Chowder lovers turn up their noses at the tomatoes in Manhattan Clam Chowder. Meanwhile, Long Island plays the diplomat by including both cream and tomatoes in its clam chowder. In the Pacific Northwest, smoked salmon is often substituted for the more traditional smoked pork, and Florida makes a spicy Minorcan Clam Chowder. Seems like half the fun is figuring out which one is your favorite.
NATIONAL CLAM CHOWDER DAY DATES