With the New England Patriots loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, I'm sure that many are finding comfort in clam chowder today. Perhaps providential, it happens to be New England Clam Chowder Day!
I would gladly jump aboard, but I am planted firmly on a snowy mountain in Idaho. I could drive 32 miles down the highway for a scrumptious bucket of clams at the East Boise Ben's Crow Inn, but I will settle for salivating.
Food descriptions in classic literature captivate me. Herman Melville's Moby Dick celebrates clam chowder through the eyes of Ishmael:
... a warm savory steam from the kitchen served to belie the apparently cheerless prospect before us. But when that smoking chowder came in, the mystery was delightfully explained. Oh, sweet friends! hearken to me. It was made of small juicy clams, scarcely bigger than hazel nuts, 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. Our appetites being sharpened by the frosty voyage, and in particular, Queequeg seeing his favourite fishing food before him, and the chowder being surpassingly excellent, we despatched it with great expedition. [Courtesy of Squid Ink - L.A. Weekly Food]
For everything clam chowder, visit the New England Clam Chowder Compendium for clam recipes dating from the 1700's to now!