New York vs. New England: Who has the better clam chowder?

On the left: New England clam chowder. On the right: Manhattan clam chowder.
On the left: New England clam chowder. On the right: Manhattan clam chowder.TODAY

Get the latest from TODAY

Sign up for our newsletter
By Vidya Rao

The historic rivalry between the two regions gets dialed up as we inch closer to the Giants vs. Patriots Superbowl faceoff on Feb. 5. But the real beef goes back to the 1930s, when Manhattan clam chowder is said to have been created.

New Englanders take real pride in their world-famous chowda, which is cream or broth-based and often features potatoes and onions sautéed in pork fat. Manhattan clam chowder, on the other hand, has a tomato base and no cream. The inclusion of tomatoes is seen as an affront to the New England church of chowder, so much so that in 1939 a bill was introduced in Maine to ban the use of tomatoes in clam chowder.

Men’s Health editor Dave Zinczenko was on TODAY, promoting team Manhattan in a segment on Superbowl eats. “The problem is that the New England chowder is going to turn you into a giant,” the prince of puns told Ann Curry. Zing!

Our resident New Englander, senior editor Amy DiLuna, disagreed, and took the opportunity to explain why her people’s chowder remains the cream of the crop.

“Calories shmalories! I'm not saying you should eat a whole vat of it and then take down the bread bowl too, but New England clam chowder is clearly the superior soup. And depending on where you are, it's not necessarily creamy and gloppy. I don't even understand how Manhattan clam chowder continues to be a food. Unless it's in a bloody Mary, please keep your tomatoes away from my clams,” she said.

So which is the reigning champ of chowder? Tell us your preference and why!