Tag Archives: Soup

The American History of Clam Chowder

“It’s chowdah!  CHOWDAH!  I’ll kill you!  I’ll kill you all!”

~Freddy Quimby

clam chowder

The existence of what we generally refer to as a clam is a simple one.  They are small little mollusks that spend their whole life completely immobile until a human comes along, boils them alive, and eats them unceremoniously alongside literally dozens of its slayed brethren.  Don’t feel too bad for them, though, because they’re delicious.  Okay, fine, if that’s not enough of an excuse, uh, let’s say…all clams are racist?  Yeah, every clam is like, suuuper racist, like “you don’t feel safe when they start talking, and you’re like, Scandinavian” racist.  Better?  Yeah, fuck those guys!  That’s why we have a duty, as Americans, to slaughter them in droves and cook them in rich, satisfying stews.

Clam chowder is a dish that even people who don’t eat clams still like and enjoy.  If someone said, “I don’t like clams, they’re too rubbery, also that racist thing is still messing with my head” they would still see “clam chowder” on the menu and want to order it, despite literally half of the words in the dish being things they actively dislike.  That is because clam chowder, at its very core, is an inherently American dish—it’s not nearly as widespread as, say, hamburgers or pizza (sit down Germany and Italy we took the ball from you and ran farther with it, those are ours now) but it is one of the best soup options out there, especially for that asshole boss of yours with the shellfish allergy (just tell them that clams don’t count, and that promotion will be yours in no time!)

That’s why today we’re going to take a moment to set you aside, but a warm bowl of creamy seafoody cholesterol in front of you, and tell you about the history of one of the first American soups.

The American History of Clam Chowder

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America’s Unusual Single-Item Restaurants

“What do you mean you only have baked potatoes?  Are you an Irish farmer?”

~New York Restaurant Patrons

hummus place

Since the turn of the century, the restaurant business in America has constantly evolved.  We don’t remember 1999 too well because alcohol and constant internet stimulation has pretty much decimated our ability to hold onto memories to a degree that would make people really sad and go, “Aww” if we were old instead of just young(ish) and irresponsible.  But, if memory serves (it doesn’t) back in 1999 people only ate at Taco Bells giving out Star Wars Episode 1:  The Phantom Menace action figures, and if you wanted to impress your date right out of her flannel shirt you’d take her to a nice French Bistro and try to tell yourself that the shear amounts of butter being used was enough to forgive the food for it’s French origins.

Since then, there’s been a foodie revolution in our country, which has brought us wonderful culinary delights as well as pretentious shit that makes us roll our eyes.  And one of these trends, for better or worse, is single-item eateries, restaurants that only serve one specific dish.  Sure, opening an eatery that only sells, say, overpriced baked potatoes might not be the most sound practice, but some places manage to find enough excitement in their ability to do one thing really well that they thrive.  Even if you can’t fathom how enough people could manage to support a place that solely exists to give you pudding.

But hey, if you’re in New York you might as well be doing something other than waiting in line at 4AM to get a fucking doughnut, so sure, we’ll help you out by telling you some of the more unique and unusual single-item restaurants out there.  Technically in America, but let’s be real, this concept totally spent the last 8 years radiating outwards from New York.

America’s Unusual Single-Item Restaurants

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America’s Dumbest Laws #1-5

“We can only hope that someday, a law will come that will be more idiotic than this law which we are trying to pass.”

~Every member of the Temperance Movement

We live in a society of rules and laws, but we exist as a society that would prefer to ignore the ones we don’t agree with.  And generally, law enforcement officers don’t care about the laws that we ignore, unless outdated definitions of brothels are involved, but even then Americans just find a way around it.  The fact is, many laws have been enacted in this fine land over the past 130 plus years (wait…2011 minus 1776 is…yeah that sounds about right) and not all of them aged particularly well.  But, instead of replacing them, we leave them on the books so that they can just stare at us, looking silly, watching us laugh at them.  Sorta like Andy Kaufman.

You had us at that one time you said that thing with the funny accent.

Since the AFFotD office has a running “felony” pool, we like to track some of the more obscure laws in the land for when we want to add something to our list of committed crimes, while avoiding most legal repercussions.  Maybe the way we keep score for our  “Who committed the most crimes” today game is faulty, but technically manslaughter is worth as many points as getting a fish drunk in Ohio.  So that’s why we’re here to each and every American heart out there the ways that they’ve been breaking the law, without even realizing it, in today’s edition of…

AFFotD’s Most Ridiculous American Laws of America

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