Tastes of the States

Bowled Over

When it comes to New England clam chowder, aficionados can agree on a few main ingredients. Namely, fresh clams in a cream-based broth, with nary a smidge of the tomatoes that are found in other, lesser breeds. From there, chefs tweak the recipe at will, making it near impossible to ever tire of the soup Bay Staters have been slurping for centuries. At Boston’s legendary Union Oyster House alone, which has sold the stuff since 1826 (when chowdah was a bargain at 15 cents a bowl), the kitchen serves between 80 and 100 gallons—that’s more than 330,000 calories—on a busy day.

Yet that’s no match for the whopping 2,000 gallons of steaming, clam-y goodness that’ll be dished out within a seven-hour period at Chowderfest, held annually at City Hall Plaza as part of the Hub’s July 4 celebration.