Illinois’ Love Affair with Pumpkin Corn Chowder Is A Head-Scratcher
It's no secret that Illinois has a reputation for having some unusual tastes. From deep dish pizza to the beloved Chicago-style hot dog, the Land of Lincoln is no stranger to culinary quirks. But there's one dish, in particular, that seems to have a special place in the hearts (and stomachs) of Illinoisans: pumpkin corn chowder.
Now, I know what you're thinking. Pumpkin and corn in the same soup? That sounds like a strange combination, to say the least. Apparently, it's a match made in heaven, or so I've been told. It could be the creamy pumpkin base that pairs perfectly with the sweet corn, creating a savory and satisfying soup that's perfect for a cold winter day.
Where did this strange love affair with pumpkin corn chowder begin? Why is it a thing? Even more, who said pumpkin corn chowder is a real Illinois delicacy? Midwest Living is responsible for this food-fueled rant. They claim this soup is Illinois-inspired.
Where The Heck Did Pumpkin Corn Chowder Originate?
According to local legend, it all started in Peoria, Illinois, where an outside-the-box chef decided to combine two of the region's most abundant crops (pumpkin and corn) into one delicious soup. The rest, as they say, is history.
Today, pumpkin corn chowder can be found on menus all across Illinois, from fancy restaurants to humble diners. It's even made its way into the homes of Illinoisans, with many families passing down their own secret recipes from generation to generation.
But it's not just the taste that makes pumpkin corn chowder a beloved part of Illinois culture. It's also the sense of community and tradition that surrounds it. It's those potlucks at church or a family Thanksgiving dinner, pumpkin corn chowder that brings people together and helps to create lasting memories.
Don't Knock It 'Til You Try It
The next time someone offers you a bowl of pumpkin corn chowder, don't turn your nose up at it. Give it a try, and you just might discover a new favorite soup. And who knows, you might even find yourself falling in love with this strange but delicious dish, just like the rest of Illinois. (This will be on my lunch menu after writing this article, by the way.)
If you want to try this soup for yourself in the comfort of your home, here's a recipe and cooking instructions. It'll take less than an hour, from start to finish.