January 13, 2017 — WASHINGTON — Ever since Ronald Reagan rode into this town, there’s been a certain custom here regarding Boston seafood. When new presidents move into the White House, the festivities include a steaming hot cup of New England clam chowder.
Or at least that used to be the tradition.
So far the Boston company that has traditionally supplied chowder, Legal Sea Foods, has been frozen out. Donald Trump’s campaign is built on challenging the status quo in Washington, and that evidently includes menus at inaugural lunches and balls.
“I haven’t heard from anybody yet,” said Roger Berkowitz, the CEO of Legal.
The reason is a matter of speculation. Could it be because Massachusetts voters didn’t support Trump? Or hard feelings over Legal’s ads making fun of Trump’s reported sensitivity about his small hands? Or is the new administration just charting its own course, unaware of tradition?
Berkowitz, for one, is holding out hope that the inaugural committee might still be interested in serving chowder during the weekend.
“It’s not partisan chowder,” he explained. “This has nothing to do with politics. . . . Maybe this is the chowder that brings America together — who knows?” It often comes down to the last minute, he said.