Rocky Point Amusement Park's Clam Chowder
- 1/2 pound ground or finely-diced salt pork
- 1 pound onions
- 1 gallon clam juice
- 1 pound potatoes diced
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 2 cups canned tomato puree
- 1 1/2 quarts chopped quahogs (large hard-shell clams)
- Water as needed
- Salt to taste
- Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
- Pilot crackers crumbled
In a large dutch oven, heat the salt pork until the fat melts. Add the onions. Cook over gentle heat until very soft.
Add the clam juice, potatoes, seasonings, tomato puree and a little water. Simmer until the potatoes are soft, then add the quahogs. Heat and taste for seasoning. Add water if needed. It is best to use old, not new, potatoes, because they thicken the chowder with their starch.
Crush some pilot crackers and stir them into the chowder to thicken it further, near the end of the cooking. Happy Eating.
This recipe makes about 20 (8-oz) servings.
The main item on the menu was Rocky Point Clam Chowder which was prepared according to the shore dinner hall's owner's well kept secret recipe. The diners were seated at both sides of very long tables as they arrived, usually in groups (there was no preferential seating) and the hot chowder was brought in in large metal pots and placed on the tables about six feet apart -- about 50 pots to each table. The chowder was served with hot "Rocky Point Clam Cakes" (see recipe), sweet corn and watermelon. Beer and soft drinks were available for purchase nearby.
Unfortunately, the shore dinner hall and the rest of the amusement park were totally destroyed in the hurricane of September 1938. No attempt was made to rebuild the park and the shore dinner hall until after World War II, and it reopened for business in 1946. Tragedy struck again when the new park and shore dinner hall were destroyed by another hurricane in 1954. Again the amusement park and shore dinner hall were rebuilt. However, the park and the shore dinner hall were closed down for good a few years ago (1996) and they are now just a memory. But the famous Rocky Point Clam Chowder and Rocky Point Clam Cakes are still available from Rocky Point Chowder House, 1759 Post Rd, Warwick, RI (401-739-4222).