What could be more “New England” than a steaming bowl of chowder? The tradition of stirring up a pot of the rich, satisfying soup predates the arrival here of some of the earliest European settlers since Native Americans had their own formulation (the newcomers added milk). Back then, cooks utilized whatever seafood they could catch or forage in the brew, whose name may have evolved from chaudière, the French term for the large cauldron in which it was simmered.
Looking for a great New England chowder? Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont offer plenty of choices. Throughout Northern New England today, you’ll find clams, fish, a seafood medley, or even corn studding the creamy broth—with nary a hint of tomato (it appears in chowders in Rhode Island and farther south). To slurp and savor some especially memorable “chowdah,” dip your spoon into these 6 outstanding versions.