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Famous Long Island Clam Chowder
Eating clam chowder, New York World's Fair 1939-1940, Courtesy of the New York Public Library

Eating clam chowder, New York World's Fair 1939-1940, Courtesy of the New York Public Library

Research on the culinary traditions of Lent have resulted in a good number of sources from the late nineteenth century to the 1940s. Most come from historic newspapers and images. They serve as the basis for a 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. Today we have a clam chowder recipe from Great Depression era Long Island:  "In most of the short towns in the north and south shores of Long Island we pride ourselves on the seafood. One of our favorite dishes is the famous Long Island clam chowder which is served as part of the short dinner and also served separately as a light lunch."

Clam Chowder Recipe

Serves 12 people

Ingredients

35 raw open clams

3 cups of chopped celery

one medium-size can of tomatoes

five medium-sized onions

15 medium-sized potatoes

three medium-size carrots

½ medium-sized turnip

½ teaspoon of chopped parsley

6 slices of bacon or ¼ cup olive oil (optional during lent)

Salt, pepper, and thyme

3 quarts of water

Instructions

chop the raw vegetables and cook them until tender then add the clam broth and grease from the fried bacon or olive oil. Season this was salt, pepper, and thyme to taste. Add the rest of the 3 quarts of water. Chop up clams put them into a pot containing the vegetables etc. That them come to a boil and set aside in a warm place. Reheat before serving. Serve with crackers and or bread.

Recipe by Mrs. Margaret Gross, Green Ave., Sayville, Long Island New York, a successful dispenser of seafood for over 40 years.

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