What Makes a Great Ready-to-Serve Original Clam Chowder?

Dig in this creamy, favorite Clam Chowder! A high quality canned clam chowder has tender, chewy clams and tender potatoes – with clam, potato and milk notes leading the aroma and flavor profiles. The texture of the chowder should be rich and smooth. There may be some low level of grittiness or sandiness from the clams. As above, the clams should be tender, not rubbery and the potatoes should be smooth, not mealy. Celery and onion notes should also be present in the aroma and flavor. There may also be some “briny” and mineral notes – but no overly fishy or metallic/tin notes. The taste profile should lead with salt, supported by sweet and followed by a little sourness. There should be no bitter intensity.

Our blog, The Flavor, provides insight on the latest industry news, award winners, and research on consumer behaviors.

Tasting terms

  • aroma

    The smell that emanates from food. Along with appearance, texture, flavor and taste, aroma is one of the five dimensions used to evaluate a product. Example: Brownies should have an aroma that includes chocolate as well as egg, toasty and sweet notes.

  • flavor

    A combination of a food's basic taste and its accompanying aroma, flavor is the distinctive taste of a food or ingredient while it is in the mouth. Along with aroma, appearance, texture and taste, flavor is one of the five dimensions considered by ChefsBest Master Tasters. Example: Chocolate chip cookies should have a moderate chocolate flavor accompanied by a slightly lower level of complex dough flavor that includes egg, flour, vanilla and brown sugar notes.

  • texture

    A dimension used to organize attributes like mouthfeel, graininess and initial bite, it is one of the five dimensions used by ChefsBest Master Tasters to evaluate food. Example: Glazed popcorn will have a crunch texture. The texture of milk chocolate should be creamy and smooth.

  • metallic

    Having the flavor of a can or foil; typically an off note acquired from a product’s packaging. Example: Some canned foods, like ham, can acquire metallic flavors from their metal containers.

  • briny

    An aromatic associated with ocean air, salt water, pickling salts. Brine is an aroma, not a taste.

  • taste profile

    The expected levels of each basic taste in any given food; defines the overall taste balance. Example: The taste profile of baking chocolate is led by bitterness that is balanced by a low amount of sweetness.

  • salt

    One of the basic tastes; tasting of or containing salt. Example: Potato chips, sea water and cured meats all have a strong salt component.

  • sweet

    One of the basic tastes; often considered pleasing while exhibiting characteristics of sugar. Example: Honey, ripe fruits and syrup all have a pronounced sweet component.

  • bitter intensity

    The measurement of perceived bitterness in a particular food. Example: Brewed coffee sometimes has a strong bitter intensity.