Clam Chowder (clams soup) Legal Sea Foods in the Theater District at 26 Park Square. Boston. Massachusetts. New England. USA.. (Photo by: Paolo Picciotto/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Food - Drink
How Irish Seafood Chowder Differs From New England Clam
Irish seafood chowder and New England clam chowder look identical, as both are creamy and have variations that include all manners of fish, shellfish, and mollusks. However, in the American Northeast, the clam reigns supreme as the seafood of choice, whereas in Ireland, fish takes center stage.
Still, clams and fish aside, what truly distinguishes the two chowders is the addition of smoked fish to the Irish seafood chowder. Mimicking the aromatic qualities of bacon, smoked fish adds an unmistakable wood-fired flavor to the Irish chowder, a complete departure from the cream-forward taste of New England clam chowder.
Besides the distinction of smoked fish, the Irish are also prone to reach for leeks, a milder allium option to white onions (the common American ingredient), to add to their chowder. And the creamy texture of the Irish chowder is less velvet-thick like the New England chowder and more delicately silky — think the textural difference between milk and heavy cream.