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Rhode Island Clam Chowder

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I'm familiar with New England and Manhattan clam chowder, but what is Rhose Island clear clam chowder?

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  1. Rhode Island Chowder is clam chowder without the tomato (red) or cream (white) that is found in Manhatten and New England Chowders. It is a clear broth and is very tasty. We prefer it over the others. Jay

    1. If you want more of a pronounced clam taste, RI chowder is the way to go. I find all three to be completely different animals and I love them all. Picture Manhattan clam chowder without the tomatoes and that is the RI chowder.

      3 Replies
      1. re: mels

        There's a fourth type, Maritime Clam Chowder, I'm still trying to get the recipe of the late chef of Orient by the Sea, someone there tells me they have it. Creamy, spicy, wouldn't be surprised if there was a little cheddar in it. There are recipes on the Internet but none are it (some call for all types of fish but hers only had clams).

        1. re: coll

          Maybe similar to a Bermuda-type chowder? Those tend to be creamy but darker, and quite spicy.

          1. re: JaneRI

            That's a great lead, I imagine the sailors in the Maritimes did a lot of travelling to the Carribean. Thanks!

      2. To muddy the waters even further, Legal Sea Foods has something called "Rhode Island Red Chowder", which is tomato-based and contains sausage instead of salt pork. Is this some sort of take on Portuguese-style seafood soup, or did Legal make this one up in their test kitchen?

        4 Replies
        1. re: oodja

          Not all that common, but I used to go to a liitle place in Cranston on Fridays and get this thick red chowder and clam cakes.It was quite good, and filling on a student budget.

          1. re: trufflehound

            A lot of places in RI SERVE red chowder, but it's still manhattan-style, not RI-style.

            1. re: JaneRI

              There was a very heated discussion about RI chowder preferences on egullet a while back. Apparently red chowder has made substantial inroads onto restaurant menus and overall popularity in the Providence area, which I still find amazing.

              1. re: Bob W

                I personally find it icky but I don't like RI style either. I like a big fat New England style, so thick the spoon stands up straight. Purists are horrified at that type of chowder.

        2. My husband and I found a couple of good versions of the clear RI clam chowder last summer. One was a special at Jake's Seafood in Hull and the other has always been on the menu at Evelyn's Drive-In in Tiverton.

          I put a few words and a coupleo of photos up on our site so you can see what it looks like and link to the two places if you want to go give it a try.

          http://www.bostonzest.com/generic1.html

          2 Replies
          1. re: BostonZest

            I guess I was wrong -- I'm from CT and I thought that RI clam chowder, coincidentally or otherwise, was kind of a cross between the red NY style and the white creamy NE style ...

            1. re: misohungrychewlow

              I just read somewhere this summer that a place on the East End of Long Island (which is 8 miles from Rhode Island) is famous for their chowder, which is half and half, red and white. And this place is a few miles from the restaurant I mentioned above. So you can call it Maritime Chowder or whatever, but maybe that's all there is to it!

          2. legal seafood in boston and florida has one of the best clam chowders out there of origional style. thick chowder is not the real type. it should be creamy and buttery. another restaurant that has good chowder is the lafayette house on rt 1 near the foxboro stadium. next time you go see the pats play have lunch or dinner there you cant go wrong.