It’s finally soup season here in Maryland! The question is, which type is your favorite? Some people enjoy rich broths, while others prefer creamier soups loaded with noodles, dumplings, or veggies. 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!
The Origin of Chowder
Before we begin, let’s take some time to examine the origin of chowder. The word chowder comes from an alternative spelling and pronunciation of the word “cauldron,” also influenced by the French word “chaudiere,” which means chowder. It has been popular in North America for hundreds of years. It is a representation of who we are and how far we have come as a country since the colonial era. Original chowders focused on fish at first, but eventually, clams and mussels caught on and gained popularity.
New England Clam Chowder
The single most iconic style of clam chowder comes from New England, specifically Boston. The broth comes from whole milk, light cream, or heavy cream. The only vegetables included are onions and potatoes, but oyster crackers are standard toppings.
Rhode Island Style
Rhode Island-style clam chowder is also called South County Style. The quahog clam is the most common clam used, and the broth tends to be clear because no milk or cream is added.
You might also recognize Manhattan-style clam chowder. Here, the broth is much thinner but looks red. That’s because it includes tomato puree or tomato paste. Many other vegetables and seasonings are used in the soup, such as garlic, carrots, and celery. Despite its name, this variant of the chowder is not actually from Manhattan; it was meant as an insult from its New England creators who looked down on anything New York, and this chowder was seen to be an affront against “true” clam chowder.
Long Island Style
Then there is also Long Island style. This pink chowder is a blend of both New England and Manhattan styles. It got its name from Long Island is the midpoint between New York and New England. What’s unique about this soup is that it is essentially cream of tomato, but packed with veggies!
YOUR SEAFOOD DESTINATION
Costas Inn has been a Baltimore tradition since 1971. You may recognize our restaurant, which was recently featured on the Food Network with Michael Symon on Burgers, Brew, and ‘Que! We were also voted the 2015 #1 Baltimore Seafood Restaurant by USA Today, as well as #1 Crab Restaurant 2014 in the Baltimore Business Journal. You may have also spotted Costas Inn during one of our 9 appearances on the Today Show or heard one of our many interviews on WJZ TV Channel 13 with Ron Matz and Marty Bass.
You can enjoy our famous crab cakes in-house or order them online for any time eating. We also provide some of the best seafood catering in the Baltimore area! You can also get your fill from Costas even when you’re not in our dining room: follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube!