New Jersey Corn Chowder The Culinary History of the Garden State by Chef Charles Knight

New Jersey Corn Chowder The Culinary History of the Garden State by Chef Charles Knight

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The word “chowder” is a corruption of the French word Chaudière or “cauldron” a large metal pot used for cooking chowder over an open fire. Originating with the French and Breton fishermen along the coastal cities of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, chowder made its way down the coast to New England, Rhode Island, Manhattan, and New Jersey. All the recipes were unique to the area of origin.

Before transportation and refrigeration most recipes can be traced to the geographic area with an abundance of the recipe’s primary ingredients. Silver Queen a white sweet corn with a soft shell and milky kernel, grows to perfection in the rich acidic downer soil of south Jersey, as does the other vegetables, herbs, and spices used in this recipe. New Jersey’s vast shoreline provided an array or seafood, and the rich grazing lands poultry, hogs, and cattle. And with cattle, dairies producing fresh milk, cream, butter, and cheese.

Further proof that Corn Chowder originated in New Jersey, Joseph A. Campbell Preserve Company (Cambell’s Soup Co.) of Camden began mass producing Corn Chowder in 1884. Using fresh ingredients indigenous to “The Garden State,” Campbell’s produced "Sweet Potato Corn Chowder", "Chunky Corn Chowder", "Chunky Chicken Corn Chowder" and "Clam and Corn Chowder with Bacon.” Cambell’s most popular New Jersey “Beefsteak” Tomato Soup followed as the first condensed soup in 1895.


PREPARATION TIME: 15-Miutes – Makes 4 Servings 301 Calories

EQUIPMENT: 3-quart saucepan with lid, measuring cups and spoons, food cutter food processor


  • 10½ ounces Campbell’s Cream of Celery Soup
  • 1-1/3 cups milk or Half N Half
  • ½-cup Pace Picante Sauce or Herdez Salsa Casera
  • 1-cup fresh Silver Queen Corn removed from the husk or 1 can (about 8 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 cup cubed cooked chicken, turkey, shrimp, crab or clams (optional)
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons shredded Cheddar cheese (grated #2 cutting cone)
  • 1 tablespoon sliced green onion


In the 3-quart saucepan heat the soup, milk, picante sauce, corn, and meat over medium heat 275ᵒF until hot and bubbling, stir occasionally.


Sprinkle with the cheese and onion. Drizzle each serving with additional picante sauce.

Calories per serving (1 cup servings 3 points) 35 calories of Half and Half Cream, (1.78 container, individual (.5 fl oz)} 35 calories of Half and Half Cream, (0.11 cup) 27 calories of Sweet Corn, (0.17 cup kernels) 22 calories of Butter, unsalted, (0.22 tbsp)