Reposted from NC Oyster Trail:

Our favorite clam chowder comes from Hooper Family Seafood, who grows hard clams on their farm overlooking Cape Lookout National Seashore and Core Sound. Just as some folks enjoy white and red wine, there are those that love clams just as much as oysters. The Hoopers will show you how to harvest and grade these shellfish. You can even try your luck with the bull rake. They have a wonderful spot on the water and can steam up clams to taste.

Call 252-729-2521 or email to make an appointment to visit their farm.

May we recommend Down East Clam Chowder? It’s chock full of vegetables and seafood. Soups and stews make a hearty meal. When made ahead, this chowder is the perfect solution for entertaining large groups of family or friends. This recipe is courtesy of NC Sea Grant Mariner’s Menu:

1 quart coarsely chopped chowder clams
1/4 pound salt pork, sliced
1 quart water
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups diced potatoes
1 cup instant potato flakes for thickening (optional)

In a large saucepan, fry pork over medium heat until crisp. Remove pork and discard. Add clams, water, onion, salt and pepper to the pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook slowly until clams are tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Add potatoes and onion, and cook until potatoes are done, about 20 minutes. Add mashed potatoes and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Serves 10 to 12.