(AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

Donald Trump won't break New England clam chowder tradition

After chowder maker aired ads that slighted the president-elect, it feared it may lose inaugural ritual


Taylor Link
January 20, 2017 3:28AM (UTC)

False alarm. Donald Trump will indeed be featuring Legal Sea Foods New England clam chowder during his upcoming inaugural ceremonies, honoring a tradition that began with Ronald Reagan.

It was reported last week that the Boston delicacy would not be served this year after Laura Condeluci, a spokeswoman for the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, told The Boston Globe that chowder wasn't going to be an option this year. Legal Sea Foods CEO Roger Berkowitz said at the time that he hadn't "heard from anybody yet," but was holding out hope that the inaugural committee would still be interested. Borsi Epshteyn, a spokesman for Trump's Presidential Inaugural Committee, said he was unaware of the clam chowder tradition.

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But the resulting outcry in Boston appeared to rectify any confusion.

After Trump's campaign co-chair in Massachusetts, state Rep. Geoff Diehl, told a local radio station that Trump should "Make seafood great again" by reconsidering the soup menu, Legal Sea Foods announced on Thursday that it received word from Trump's Presidential Inaugural Committee indicating the tradition will be preserved during Friday's festivities.

"We're just happy that the tradition continues," Berkowitz told the Boston Globe.

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The company's long tradition appeared to be vulnerable when people in charge of the inauguration had displayed a lack of enthusiasm about the clam chowder. One running theory that explains why Trump would abandon the tradition involves a Legal Sea Foods commercial that teased the president-elect's small hands.

"I can assure you, it's not the size of your hand that's important, but rather, the size of your shrimp," the ad said.

Speculation was that Trump wanted to exact revenge on the chowder maker by not serving it during the ceremonies.

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By including New England clam chowder on the menu this year, thereby observing an American tradition, Trump proved that he has the bigger shrimp when it comes to this silly dispute.


Taylor Link

Taylor Link is an assistant editor at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @taylorlink_

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Boston Clam Chowder D.c. Donald Trump Inauguration Ritual Traditional Washington

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