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St. Augustine Minorcan Clam Chowder


There is no Minorcan chowder on the island of Minorca, nor anywhere else we know other than Florida's northeast coast, where almost all of the world's datil peppers are grown. Datils arrived in the late 18th century in the hands of Minorcans who came to work the once-ubiquitous indigo fields and finally settled in St. Augustine. They likely picked up the New World peppers in Cuba, as there are none in Spain; and while you won't find an eatery devoted to Minorcan cuisine, datil pepper-charged food is served in restaurants throughout the city. Chowder is the flagship dish. It is red, like Manhattan chowder, and it contains chopped clams, shreds of tomato, corn kernels, and hunks of potato. But its effect on your tastebuds is unique. As you spoon it up, the back of your throat begins to glow and after a few mouthfuls, the pepper's sweet-tart citrus zest begins to blossom.

Singleton's Seafood Shack
Schooner's Seafood House
O'Steen's Restaurant
Barnacle Bill's
Saltwater Cowboy's
Singleton's Seafood Shack - Mayport , FL
Singleton's seafood includes nut-sweet shrimp bursting with flavor, briny oysters sheathed in fragile crust, devil crab that is moist and seasoned with eye-opening panache. Every meal comes with a pair of hushpuppies clad in a red gold crust that surrounds insides that are as moist as cake. We also had a good bowl of Minorcan clam chowder with datil peppers that provide a nice buzz to soup that is loaded with flavorful clams.
Schooner's Seafood House - St. Augustine , FL
Schooner's is a friendly seafood house with booths and counter seating. It serves fine North Florida shrimp as well as St. Augustine's unique Minorcan clam chowder.
O'Steen's Restaurant - St. Augustine , FL
Any time of day that O'Steen's is open you'll see people gathered outside, some sitting on benches, waiting for their turn at a table. The best shrimp in St. Augustine are served at O'Steen's. You'll also find the finest version of the local red Minorcan clam chowder, along with some fine Southern-styled side dishes.
Barnacle Bill's - St. Augustine , FL
Barnacle Bill's is a seafood restaurant specializing in fried shrimp and featuring hot sauce and hot wings made with the locally-grown datil pepper.
Saltwater Cowboy's - St. Augustine , FL
Seafood stars on the menu: from freshly-opened oysters to fancy preparations, including a slew of such deep-fried cracker specialties as gator tail, catfish, cooter, and frogs legs. You can get them broiled or grilled however your like.

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