New England Clam Chowder

See the RecipeTodd Coleman

As a New Englander, one of the first regional foods I loved was clam chowder. I don't recall when I first tasted this comforting soup chock-full of tender mollusks. What I do know is clam "chowda" is a birthright for every person born within a 100-mile radius of Boston. In the Massachusetts suburbs, we didn't acknowledge differing styles from Rhode Island or Maine. To us, clam chowder was always a cream-based wonder, briny with clam liquor, smoky with bacon, and containing, ideally, a high ratio of fresh clams to potato chunks. —Gabriella Gershenson