A famous clam chowder from the East coast is Cliff House Clam Chowder, which has been on the menu at the Ogunquit, Maine restaurant since 1872. A famous clam chowder recipe from the West coast is Ivar's Clam Chowder, a Seattle staple since 1933.
Cliff House Clam Chowder is made by sautéing a slice of bacon, 1 cup of chopped onions, a minced garlic clove, 1/2 teaspoon of butter and 1 teaspoon of Cliff House Spice blend over low heat in a heavy bottomed soup pot. 1 tablespoon of flour and juice from a 6.5-ounce can of clams are added and cooked, then simmered with 1 1/2 cups of half-and-half for 20 minutes. The can of clams, 2 peeled and chopped boiled potatoes and a dash of white pepper are added. The soup is done upon reaching serving temperature.
The key to the chowder is the Cliff House Spice Blend. To make, mix 4 teaspoons each of dried oregano, parsley, basil, thyme and rosemary with 2 teaspoons each of marjoram, dill and tarragon. Also add 1 teaspoon of sage and 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour. Store the blend in a refrigerator.
An imitation Ivar's Clam Chowder recipe is similar to the Cliff House Clam Chowder but does not use bacon or the seasoning blend. The Ivar's recipe uses two cans of clams and 4 cups of half-and-half, and also includes celery and sugar, which are not ingredients in Cliff House Clam Chowder. Also, in the Ivar's recipe, the vegetables are simmered in clam juice rather than being sautéed.