By Vickie VanDoren
My husband likes to say that I’m good at mixing things up. One of the many avenues for my creativity is experimenting with food. Most of my culinary experiments are worth repeating and this one is definitely worth sharing.
Everyone who likes clam chowder has a preference: red or white. I like it pink. New England clam chowder is a little too heavy for me, and Manhattan chowder is a little too acidic. So, I made a tasty solution to this conundrum by combining the two chowders. This lightens the New England chowder and cuts the acid in the Manhattan. At first, I only shared this concept with friends, and they loved it. Then, with their nod of approval, we started to order this pleasing concoction in restaurants. Initially some of the restaurant staff questioned the combination, but not any more. We no longer have to explain that we want the two chowders in the same bowl. The trend has caught on in our favorite local eating establishments here on LBI.
Presentation is key for this chowder blend. Combining equal parts of red and white, then mixing them thoroughly will create a delectable pink chowder. When introducing someone to this new concept, it’s probably best to swirl the red and white in a flat bowl first. This will give the diner the opportunity to sample a little of each before taking the plunge and mixing the two chowders.
There are many very tasty, award-winning New England and Manhattan clam chowders served here on the Island. However very few people are aware of this third chowder possibility. I am not aware of any official name for this hybrid combo, so let’s give it a name. The next time you are either undecided about ordering red or white chowder, or just want to try something a little different, order some “LBI Pink Clam Chowder.” You may have to explain it at first, but I’m confident we can start a new trend and create our own local specialty. Bon Appetite!