Nothing beats a bowl of thick, creamy chowder on a cold day. If you're not a fan of seafood — we don't really understand that, but OK — corn chowder really hits the spot, too.
Of course, we're not going to tell you to go to New England for it. This November, some of Canada's best chefs will be competing head-to-head in the Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown in Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver.
Can get enough chowda? Here are seven (odd) things you probably didn't know about it.
Styles of Chowder
The thick, creamy stew we generally recognize as chowder is a New England-style chowder, typically made with milk or cream. The tomato-based version (minus the diary) is known as Manhattan style; and the clear-broth version is known as a Rhode Island chowder.
Chowder clams are also know as large clams, hard clams and quahogs. The oldest quahog was caught just outside of Iceland in 2007 and it was proven to be over 400 years old.
Record for Chowder Eating Contest
According to Major League Eating (an organization that oversees professional eating contests like Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest), Bob Shoudt holds the record of salmon chowder by eating 23.4 pounds of chowder in six minutes at The Slammin' Salmon World Chowder Eating Contest back in December 2009.
First Clam Chowder Recipe
According to the Book of Chowder, the earliest documented recipe of clam chowder dates back to 1751, in the Boston Evening Post, published on September 23. Interestingly, the recipe does not include any dairy, and uses biscuit as the thickener instead.
Even for something as perishable as a seafood stew with cream, there’s an MRE (short for Meal, Ready-to-Eat, ration for the U.S. military) version that lasts 5-7 years. If you want to give it a try, you can buy it on Amazon.
Chowder, the Band
We don't know what to say about this, but there really is a band called Chowder. Surprisingly, they're from Philadelphia and not New England.
John F. Kennedy's Favourite Food
According to the American National Archives, fish chowder was JFK's favourite food. You can eat like a president and cook with his New England Fish Chowder recipe on ABC News.