Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Black Pearl Clam Chowder


Only In Rhode Island.com

One of the questions we are most often asked in our stores is "Is this chowder really from the Black Pearl?" To tell you the truth, I would love to just once be able to say in a loud whisper, "No, it's fake........black market....contraband..... but mum's the word, it's just between us....." I imagine the look on that person's face would be priceless!!

But of course, our Black Pearl clam chowder is "really from the Black Pearl". There aren't a lot of secrets in Rhode Island (not for long, anyway), so I'm quite sure that if we were selling a faux version of their chowder for the past 7 years, the Black Pearl might have figured it out by now. The truth is that we get the chowder directly from them, and the t-shirts and hats too. It's difficult to keep the Black Pearl products in stock, so we're lucky that they're located just down the street!

The Black Pearl Clam Chowder, 15oz can
Black Pearl Clam Chowder
Black Pearl T-Shirt
Black Pearl T-shirt

We also have people ask why the Black Pearl lets us sell their products. The obvious answer is that we sell a ton, but there's a funny story behind it too. Seven years ago, I was in Las Vegas for a retailers conference. I was eating in a restaurant and overheard two women at the next table talking (I hate that I come off as an eavesdropper in this tale, but it's the sad truth). Anyway, they were discussing their upcoming vacation plans and one woman said she and her husband were going to Mexico and that her friend and her husband should join them. The second woman said, "Oh you know we have to go to Newport every year. Bob just has to get chowder at the Black Pearl."

So there I was, two thousand miles from home and the people next to me are talking about the Black Pearl!! Because I'm not just an eavesdropper, I'm also quite pushy, I jumped into the conversation. I thought the universe must be sending me some kind of sign and twenty minutes later I was convinced that I must bring the Black Pearl clam chowder to the world!! So I came home from Vegas, called the restaurant, and abracadabra......here we are. 

The third question people ask us about the Black Pearl clam chowder is whether it's as good as the restaurant's. We tell them the truth......."There is no way the Black Pearl would put their name on it if it wasn't. It's their recipe and it's excellent." I believe the secret to making it is to let it simmer, just like when you make it from scratch. That way the flavors get a chance to meld together and, I swear to you, you will not be able to tell you're not sitting on the wharf in downtown Newport, with the wind in your hair and 30 people waiting to take your table.

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