The cylinder of condensed soup slid out of the can and into the pot with a wet sucking sound. Most of the jiggling bar of soup was made up of a kind of clammy gel, but a pool of clear, sticky fluid also ran to the bottom of the saucepan. I added a can's measure of milk and stirred the chowder over a low flame, and rediscovered why I really hate Snow's clam chowder and hardly ever buy it.
It's that clammy gel. The stuff never really blends with the milk. You stir it in, and it separates into chunks of gel; the chunks would be perfectly happy to remain just like that - big globby things that float around in the milk with their sick slimy mouthfeel and low tide taste profile. Eww. I always wind up taking the whisk to Snow's chowder and even then all that does is break up the gel into smaller and smaller gel bits - it never blends.
It wasn't always like this, you know. I remember when Snow's was made here in New England and it was still good. There was always a can or two in the pantry at my Mom's house. Snow's Chowder was the standard against which all condensed canned clam chowders were measured from the time the company was founded in 1920. But by the 1990's, (right about the time their corporate overlord Borden was being taken over by private equity firm KKR) I noticed that the quality and flavor of the product had changed. Snow's Clam Chowder stopped being a pantry staple for me as the quality really started to slide.
|Nasty crap tuna.
Still, I buy a can now and again hoping that maybe the Snow's I knew as a kid will be eased back into production. Unfortunately, the Snow's brand is owned by Bumble Bee now, so I sincerely believe it's never ever going to return to its former deliciousness. Bumble Bee are the makers of the worst canned tuna on the market and it's the company that shut down the last remaining US sardine cannery after promising not to do so less than a year earlier.