Today is National New England Clam Chowder Day, which, if you're a Patriots fan, probably couldn't come at a better time. After all, a very good clam chowder can be remarkably comforting, as Ishmael discovered in Moby Dick:
... a warm savory steam from the kitchen served to belie the apparently cheerless prospect before us. But when that smoking chowder came in, the mystery was delightfully explained. Oh, sweet friends! hearken to me. It was made of small juicy clams, scarcely bigger than hazel nuts, mixed with pounded ship biscuit, and salted pork cut up into little flakes; the whole enriched with butter, and plentifully seasoned with pepper and salt. Our appetites being sharpened by the frosty voyage, and in particular, Queequeg seeing his favourite fishing food before him, and the chowder being surpassingly excellent, we despatched it with great expedition.
There are other similarly fantastic meditations on food throughout the book (i.e., "The Whale as a Dish"), but if you would prefer not to read Herman Melville's 500+ page tome just for the food-related bits, there are a few other ways to celebrate this great day.
You can, for example, go down the rabbit hole that is The New England Chowder Compendium, a website devoted to tracking the evolution of the regional specialty, complete with recipes organized by decade. If you understandably would rather eat some chowder rather than reading all about it, try the rendition at L&E Oyster Bar, or take advantage of the weather and have your clam chowder near the beach at Santa Monica Seafood.
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All that said, if you don't manage to get out today to fete the holiday, don't fret: Have a bowl tomorrow for breakfast, as Ishmael and Queequeg did after being so enamored with their clam chowder dinner. And then maybe also have some for lunch. And so on, until, as Ishmael says, "You began to look for fish-bones coming through your clothes."
(Editor's note: Hi Jason. I'm as depressed as you are. Wtf was Belichick thinking under that hoodie, other than that he'd probably rather be coaching lacrosse.)
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