The New England Chowder Compendium

Chowder

Image: Beatrice McIntosh Cookery Collection

As if you needed yet another reason that libraries are the best: the library at the University of Massachusetts has created the world's only New England Chowder Compendium. The online collection consists of chowder recipes, pictures and ads from the 1870s to the 1970s, and exists to "to investigate the hows and whys of chowder's rise to its place as an essential part of New England regional cuisine."

The most interesting part of the collection is ogling all of the old recipes; the best we saw is for a "diet" chowder — from the 70s, of course — that consists of clams, skim milk, onion powder, Oleo, and most likely a microwave. Who wants chowder?

Rachael Oehring

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  1. Jonathan B. Horen

    The New England Chowder Compendium is quite a collection! I particularly liked the recipes from the earliest section, although I read everything from all the periods.

    Especially interesting was the mention in several places of "pilot bread", which remains a steady-seller, here in Fairbanks, AK! No insubstantial "oysterettes" for our great-great-grandfathers...

    It was also refreshing to observe that most of the earlier recipes were for "fish", rather than "clam", chowder (and corn chowder, as well). Economics rules the kitchen!

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