More popular in American cuisine, the clam chowder is one of the most popular clam-based soups around.
The fish is more versatile, though.
Apart from clams, the classic recipe also includes pork, onions, or potatoes – of course, different variations across the world bring in even more ingredients.
Clams have been used in chowders for ages, mostly because they are relatively easy to harvest and provide a fulfilling aroma.
Now, if you have never experienced such chowder, you probably ask yourself – what does clam chowder taste like?
Here is what you should know.
What is Clam Chowder?
Clam chowder is thicker than the average chowder, and just like the name clearly states, it is based on clams.
Other ingredients like potatoes and onions are also added, as well as veggies.
Now, the thickness of this chowder is given by the cream.
Most people use heavy cream for extra flavor and thickness, but light cream is also acceptable if you are on a diet.
That being said, some people also use whole milk as the actual base.
Assuming you make the clam chowder yourself, there should be no chemicals going in it.
The rich and creamy texture makes it delicious, while the veggies and clams are super healthy.
Apart from making it yourself, you can find clam chowder in commerce as well – it could be fresh in the fridge section or available in cans.
The one in commerce is less likely to be as tasty as the one you make yourself.
What Does Clam Chowder Taste Like?
Chowder clam is very likely to taste like cream.
The thick texture suggests a milky aroma, but in a good way.
Now, just because you use plenty of clams to prepare this soup, it does not mean that you can actually taste them.
If you have ever had clams, you know that they do not have a strong fishy flavor anyway.
They are mild and can easily be overcome by other ingredients in a dish.
The same rule applies to clam chowder.
The subtle seafood flavor is delicious, without feeling too fishy.
Proportions are critical when preparing clam chowder, and two different recipes will most likely taste differently.
More potatoes will give the chowder an earthy aroma.
Onions bring in a tangy profile, yet the milk or the cream will be the base of your soup.
With these thoughts in mind, the chowder can be described as a cream with seafood flavor – cream dominates the dish.
Assuming you do want other ingredients to come forward, you will feel limited.
After all, you cannot add too many clams without adding an extra base.
The same goes for any other ingredient, be it potatoes or onions.
Even if you do add more of them, you will also have to add more cream.
However, to twitch the taste, you can always alter the proportions – more of something and less of something else.
How to Prepare and Cook Clam Chowder?
According to BBC Good Food, you will not need to work too hard to impress your guests.
Get the clams, a mix of milk and cream, plain flour, onions, potatoes, bacon, and spices or condiments.
Preparing this dish should not take more than 10 minutes, yet the cooking part takes just over half an hour.
While pretty much everything is easy to cook, clams require more attention than everything else.
You need to rinse them a few times.
Rinse, drain and rinse again, then repeat again and again.
Clams must be open, so you need to throw them in water, bring them to boil, and simmer for a few minutes.
When cooking for yourself or your family, chances are you do not really care about the presentation – everyone just wants to eat.
If you are trying to impress others, you should keep some of the empty shells and use them as decorations for your dish.
In terms of precautions, you need to ensure there is no dirt left in the clams whatsoever.
This is why they have to be thoroughly washed and not just once.
Finally, as you look up online, you will find lots of different recipes – feel free to adjust them to suit your culinary preferences.
As a short final conclusion, what does clam chowder taste like?
Despite being based on clams, the base is what makes the difference.
The milky flavor of dairy is what you will feel first.
Whether you use cream or milk, the base is strong enough to change everything.
As for the clams, the slight seafood aroma cannot be overlooked either.
Bottom line, clam chowder will definitely impress, whether you cook for yourself or you hope to impress someone.
It is a common dish all over the world, but especially in countries with sea or ocean borders.