Clam Chowder’s Roots as a Simple Seafarer’s Dish

Clam Chowder pic

Clam Chowder

James (Jim) Ahern serves Laidlaw & Company as managing partner and head of capital markets where he provides a host of investment services focused on the health care vertical. A deep sea fishing enthusiast, James (Jimmy) Ahern enjoys adventures in the Cape Cod area when away from his responsibilities with Laidlaw & Company.

One of the classic coastal New England recipes is clam chowder, with a Serious Eats’ Food Lab article bringing focus to an authentic version of the dish. As originally envisioned in Colonial days, clam chowder should have a mild taste, with salted pork’s sweetness playing off on the clam’s slight bitterness to create a delicate flavor. The other accents are typically onion, celery, black pepper, and bay leaf, with oyster crackers providing the perfect topping.

The roots of chowders are in French and English seafood stews and were adapted in early New England port towns as the perfect long-lasting fare for fishing voyages. With the first known recorded chowder recipe printed in a 1751 Boston Evening Post article, dairy was notably lacking from the dish until much later when milk cows became prevalent in the region.