Clam chowdah...with bacon?

This may be more IMHOish than GQish, apologies if so.

Am I crazy to believe that New England clam chowder is NOT supposed to have bacon in it?

I’m an East Coaster who did a stint in Boston, now living in Los Angeles. Half the restaurants I’ll order it from make it with bacon. My friends mock me whenever I now ask waiters, “Do you make your clam chowder with bacon?” But inevitably I have the last laugh when s/he comes back saying, “Sorry, yeah, ours has bacon.”

What gives???

It is supposed to have salt pork in it, but that’s not the same thing as bacon. I would put it down to the general tendency of mid-priced restaurants to overseason everything these days. Just be glad they aren’t serving it with cajun blackened clams.

I always use bacon, and I make the best clam chowder in the world.

Is this just a West Coast thing? Wherever I’ve gone on the East Coast (and MA specifically) and asked, the servers have always been on MY side. :slight_smile:

The recipe from which mine is adapted called for salt pork, but that hind of smoke adds a whole nother dimension. Plus sometimes I make it with fresh geoducks rather than little clamlets. Don’t you wish you were me?

I just had a good bowl of Clam Chowder today - no bacon. However, I had a good bowl of Clam Chowder last Friday and it DID have bacon. So I guess I dunno.

“hind” ?!?!?


Second best, Bub; I dig my own fresh razor clams from Cook Inlet. Nothing like a little elbow grease to add that special something. Plus bacon, of course.

How can you go wrong with bacon?