I’m a Colorado native, so let’s just say, clam chowder was not a part of my upbringing. If you really want to be grossed out, as I was, all the clam chowder I ever saw around these parts came out of a can. Mushy, sludgy, with clams as chewy as gumi bears and far from tempting. Fortunately, through the years, supply of fresh fish and what used to be hard-to-find groceries are now all readily available, and somewhere along the way, I tried a clam chowder and LIKED it. I couldn’t tell you where, and I’m not even sure how it came to be that I started to crave the stuff. To the point that I needed to make it in order to have it. I do know that the clam chowder of the East Coast seems to be what chili is for the South. Every mini-region has their own “best” way to make it. I don’t care much for Manhattan style (keep the tomatoes out, I say), and so I did a search and found that Ina had a version that was likely to be just perfect. But my buddy Billy who works the fish counter at WF said I had to add bacon. So, who’s going to argue with that? Maybe I broke some East Hampton chowder law, but it is delicious! Homemade clam chowder was not only easy, but truly a special treat.
When Sarah asked if we could make clam chowder for our next soup session, I was ecstatic! Tuck this recipe away for a rainy spring day — you’ll be so glad you did. Continue reading