Chowder: Manhattan vs. New England

Chowder -- it's coastal comfort food at its best. Tonight on United Tastes of America, Jeffrey Saad explores how this classic American seafood stew has been adapted to fit local tastes, and he delves into the controversy that surrounds Manhattan clam chowder.

Chowder is the original one-pot meal that turns today's catch into tonight's supper. But on the coast, the perfect recipe for this dish is debatable. It boils down to the tomatoes -- to add or not to add?

Manhattan clam chowder, with it's tomato-y base, didn't come onto the scene until around the turn of the century. But when it did, it caused some commotion with the New England clam chowder lovers who favor their soup thick and creamy. In fact, a law was debated in Maine that would make it illegal to add tomatoes to chowder.

The attempts to take down Manhattan clam chowder were ineffective, though, and the debate between which is better rages on.

Jeffrey Saad also takes a look at another variation on seafood stew, gumbo. And he learns from one chowder-making wild child that fresh is best -- even if it means casting your line from the shores of Brooklyn into the East River!

Tune in tonight at 9:30 p.m. EST.

What's your chowder of choice: Manhattan, New England, or other?

Get even more comforting soup recipes in our Cozy Soups gallery.

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