CLAM CHOWDER IS A FOOD THAT SPEAKS NOSTALGIA, THE KIND THAT WANTS ME TO REMEMBER SOMETHING… EVEN IF THE MEMORY ISN’T MINE. IT’S A POWERFUL STORY-TELLER.
Today is my favourite day. Veterinarian day + Monday + The-day-I-woke-up-to-an-empty-coffee-jar day. Pure. Awesomeness.
So yes, I did. I selfishly spent every God-damn beautiful hours of this day chuckling at waffle-coned dogs through a glass-wall, powered by a state of mind as sharp as a pile of shredded cheddar cheese melting inside a hamburger. And at exactly 6:30 pm, realised that I’ve left very little time to tell you about this risotto I made last weekend. It’s my fault. The risotto doesn’t deserve this neglect. In fact, this clam chowder risotto with prosciutto-salt deserves every autumn-loving and nostalgic-holic’s attention. Thing is, I’ve always thought of clam chowders as a food that speaks nostalgias, the kind that wants me to remember something, in an almost eager manner, trying to bring out memories even if it isn’t mine. Memories of trips to the San Franciso pier to find and taste the best clam chowder in san francisco and then heading to the beach to enjoy the feeling of sand between my toes, and the smell of the salty sea air. Great memories, however, I was never that girl standing on a beach of grey sands, with the cold waves, that late summer, or on that blue wooden bench and in the knitted cardigan…, the soup wants me, no, it needs me to feel like one when I eat it. Clam chowder is a powerful story-teller.
But again, people who are truly nostalgic about clam chowders probably wouldn’t do what I did, replacing potatoes with equally starchy arborio rice and chewy farro, then instead of saltine crackers, a sprinkle of finely crushed crispy prosciutto and toasted caraway seeds. What can I say, it felt almost natural to me, and even more amazing because now it tells a slightly different story. Of what, I’m not quite sure yet. I need to hear it a few more times for it to become words. Perhaps a rocky mediterranean shore… a brownish tweed newsboy hat… that old sea-port market and the stain of espresso on the napkin. Or perhaps I’m just hearing a food-coma.
How about you? Have you heard any good stories from your table lately?
The beautiful brass dinner spoon is made by the amazing Ann Ladson.
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