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Clam Chowder
Our new favorite clam chowder. Photo by Daniel Norman | IST.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

KAREN HOCHMAN is Editorial Director of THE NIBBLE.

 


November 2007
Updated July 2008

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Fish, Seafood & Caviar

Bar Harbor Seafood

Page 1: Gourmet Clam Chowder

 

CAPSULE REPORT: Canning small-batch seafood “fresh from the docks,” in Downeast Maine, Bar Harbor seafood produces gourmet-quality, tender canned seafood products—and one heck of a delicious clam chowder. We’ll buy it by the case! The line is all-natural—no artificial preservatives, no trans fat and no MSG. The smoked herring and mackerel products are kosher-certified. Support the small, artisan business; Bar Harbor Foods is the only multiproduct cannery left in Maine. This is page 1 of a three-page article. Click on the black links below to visit the other pages.

You’ll find Bar Harbor Foods on a picturesque wharf on a beautiful sheltered cove in Downeast Maine, Holmes Bay. Gulls fly across the water in front of the small, two-story modern facility and fishing boats are tied up at its dock—the same boats that have brought in the “fresh off the docks” catch that gets canned by Bar Harbor Foods. A dedicated team makes gourmet seafood products in small batches—clams, soups and sauces packed and canned mostly by hand, as it has been done for generations.

Bar Harbor Clam Products

New England Clam Chowder

What wonderful comfort food this is: pinky-beige chowder with lots of salmon-pink colored pieces of clam and diced rectangles of white potatoes. We weren’t even motivated to add our customary grind of fresh pepper to enhance it, although a bit of fresh parsley hit the spot. This is our favorite product of the Bar Harbor line, and it took almost no effort to turn it into a delicious dish. Although the soup is condensed, we added just 1/4 can of milk to make a thick, hearty chowder. Although it would serve four as a dinner portion, the can makes a full meal lunch for a hearty eater, and left us in eager anticipation of the next can. The company makes other chowders—corn, fish, lobster and salmon. We look forward to trying them next.

Clam Chowder
Our new favorite clam chowder and clam juice.

There are also four bisques—clam, crab, lobster and salmon. The difference between a chowder and a bisque is that a bisque is a more elegant recipe, puréed until smooth, and often contains sherry.

Clam Juice

If you like clam juice in your Bloody Mary (a.k.a. Bloody Caesar—not after the Roman emperor, but, as with the chef at the Waldorf who created Caesar salad, more likely a culinarian or a bartender by the same name), use this one. It is a world apart from the supermarket brands—it’s the pure liquid left over from processing the clams. If you use clam juice to make broth or soup, this clam juice will improve the flavor.

There are classy canned clams in Bar Harbor, too, as well as other fine canned seafood.

Continue To Page 2: Fancy Canned Seafood

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*Prices and product availability are verified at publication but are subject to change. Shipping is additional. These items are offered by a third party and THE NIBBLE has no relationship with them. This link to purchase is provided as a reader convenience.

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