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The Soup-er Bowl

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We've all been waiting for this moment. A trail of blood, tears, and broken dreams lies behind us. No, silly, we're not talking about the thrilling finish of The Piglet Tournament of Cookbooks!

We're talking about the other thing happening this week, the biggest eating day of the year (besides Thanksgiving and Meatopia). The thing that, strangely, we're not supposed to refer to by name. So, to keep it all legal, we'll say it with soup.

At the parties you'll all be throwing this Sunday, give the chili a year off. Because 2012 is the year of the chowder: New England vs. Manhattan, clam vs. clam.

Which team is your money on? Pick your Soup-er Sunday menu below (or hedge your bets and serve them both).

Team New England

clam chowder

Representative chowder: New England Clam Chowder. The perennial favorite for a reason: rich and brawny, a patriotic charmer -- and more than ready for some hot vengeance. With chives on top.

Beer: Harpoon UFO Pale Ale

Cracker: Old Bay Oyster Crackers

Goes with: The New Englandah Burgah. Brown Butter Apple & Cheddar Pie. Boston Coolers.


Team New York

Manhattan clam chowder

Representative chowder: Manhattan Clam Chowder. Nimble and brave, the perpetual underdog. Its stinging broth and feisty horseradish bite could unhinge New England's steely ranks. (Remember 2008? Manhattan does.)

Beer: Sixpoint Righteous Ale

Cracker: Saltines

Goes with: Yum Dogs. Lime n' the Coconut Mini Cheesecakes.

May the best chowder win.

Photos and recipes by the great Tom Hirschfeld of bonafidefarmfood.com

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Automagic Spring Menu Maker!