I admit – I have had clam chowders I have loved, however, not a one in New England – before you write to me with a barrage of insults let me explain – the clam chowders I had in New England all had green bits in them, that added not a iota of flavour, there were bits of potato floating in them and bits of clam (yes I know duh) and the base fluid seemed to be single cream diluted with water – add to this tasteless crackers thrown on top. Every single bowl made me think of something my aunt Betsy might have made on a sunday (if I had an American Aunt Betsy) with whatever she could find in the pantry, and maybe I would have loved it because I’d been outside all day, it was cold outside, I loved Aunt Betsy and I admired the fact, that despite wartime rationing she’d found some bits of clam on the beach and some half and half and had served me a chowder of love. Frankly chowder nostalgia belongs firmly up there with nostalgia for Cadbury’s Creme eggs ( I love them because they remind me of my childhood, but really they are not that wonderful) – and some other old English favourites – it reminds you of love and childhood. And naturally not having grown up in New England, this chowder, doesn’t trigger nostalgia so I let it be. Before you think I didn’t try, I did, I had a chowder in Boston, fully expecting to love it, I didn’t, I thought, ah they made it wrong, I had another in Ogunquit at Barnacle Billy’s (yes nomen est omen – don’t eat there if you can help it) – no good, and the next day at the lobster shack they served us a free one, would have seemed churlish to refuse, I tried again, but nope…Now I have had chowders I have loved before and after a quick google I discover that the cream based ones are from New England – I’ve had amazing creamy thick and luscious clam chowders where the chowder coated your spoon and you could feel each spoonful cling to your hips as it settled, oh the joy, the sensual delight, but sadly in New England itself it was not to be. Please feel free to comment AND OR berate me – I look forward to opening the online clam chowder war!