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Chowda

Neks to coffee milk and lemonade slush, Roe Dyelin’s third most popula liquid food group. “My grandfatha Elma still makes the best chowda in the state. Evree August, he goes downcella and steuhs up 20 gallons: clams, clam juice, unyinz, ba’day’diz, and salt pawk. He gets the whole famlee to spend the week befaw diggin’ kohogs at the show, then we shuck’em and he goes to it. It’s a secret resspee, but if you don’t tell anyone, he also puts in black peppa, white peppa and cayenne peppa. Then he puts in posslee stems and cream & butta. Some people like t’maytiz, but not Gramper Elma. And he doesn’t use any food processa eitha; he chops evvything wit the same hatchet he uses to kill chickens. He’s nevva written the resspee down, but alwiss tells us: ‘If you don’t rememba anything else, rememba the salt pawk.’ And he’s got no problem if y’want t’add y’own gollick powda and wissta sauce. Oh, and by the way: gramper has no time f’people who make it the red, New Yawk way and call it chowda. Blasphemy, he says. In his book, red chowda isn’t chowda. It’s warta.”

From The Rhode Island Dictionary by Mark Patinkin, with illustrations by Don Bousquet. 

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