By Robert S. Cox
New England's culinary history is marked by a varying array of chowders. Early forms were thick and layered, but the adaptability of this beloved recipe has allowed for a multitude of tasty preparations to emerge. Thick or thin, brimming with fish or clams or corn, chowder springs up throughout the region in as many distinctive varieties as there are ports of call. It remains the quintessential expression of New England cuisine. Food writers and chowder connoisseurs Robert S. Cox and Jacob Walker dish out the history, flavors and significance of every New Englander's favorite comfort food.