1930s Rhode Island Clam Chowder Recipe For 80 to 100 people
During the Great Depression US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) launched His Works Progress Administration (WPA) as one of his many New Deal Policies promising North Americans a way of out the Great Depression. WPA officials at the state level hired workers and scholars to travel throughout the country collecting and documenting local traditions including food traditions. A WPA administrator interested in food decided to publish a collection called America Eats. Here is a circa 1930s recipe from the Rhode Island records which we are using today as part of our series on food and the Lenten season. We share our findings in a paraphrased format when necessary to make them legible and we share illustrative direct quotes as often as possible.
Rhode Island Clam Chowder Recipe
Serves 80 to 100 people
three course each of diced celery, potatoes, carrots, onions and peppers
2 gallons of chopped clams
2 pounds of fat salt pork or 1 cup of olive oil
3 quarts’ milk
Boil 3 quarts of each diced in water: celery, onions, and peppers. Add a little salt. When partly done, add 3 quarts of diced carrots and a few minutes later 3 quarts of diced potatoes. Next add the 2 gallons of chopped clams to the cooked vegetables. Add the fat salt pork or olive oil to the chowder. Add 3 quarts of warm milk and finish thinning the chowder with the broth taken from the steam clams. After all the ingredients are mixed, salt and pepper to taste.
WPA America Eats Rhode Island Folder