Cooking the Books – National Clam Chowdah Day!

Posted on Posted in Blog, Cooking the Books

The Old, The New, and the Spicy

New England – the birthplace of America and the original holder of Clam Chowder. Like all innovations, the dish was designed out of necessity and common sense. While the more recipes are packed with flavor and variations, the original Clam chowder was meant as a simple, filling, and widely available protein source providing sustenance to the new colonists. As our country grew more sophisticated, so too did its cuisine! The first Manhattan recipe was introduced in 1934 through a cookbook called Soups & Sauces which included a variety of vegetables and most notably tomatoes, which gives it the unique blush color. The last iteration is a more modern take on the dish incorporating spices and peppers from around the South Americas. It goes by many names: Seattle, Cabo, Minorcan; but each feature some form of spice infusion that takes the creamy, fishy, dish into an entirely different direction.

It’s not up to us to tell which one you should prefer but it does lay out a great analogy for evolution of finance.

The New England Clam Chowder was like the original form of finance – factoring – with its pragmatism and effectiveness. Factoring has been in existence since the late 1500’s when international trading expeditions required time to execute and contracts to ensure security. Since there were no banks or central treasuries to encourage and manage commerce, the new fledging merchant class had to adapt to develop and expand their business. While these are much different than what we see today, the principles were the same. Shippers needed funds to complete a contract and financiers would provide the funding and take ownership in the contract.

As monarchies declined and nations began to embrace free enterprise, banks emerged to fill a gap of financing. They moved away from direct securitization of individual contracts and more into underwriting the risk of the entire enterprise. While it helped increase liquidity globally, it also allowed for more significantly more risk to be employed into the system. However, it was still based off the original idea of collateralization and just taking a small twist on the foundational recipe.

The spicy versions of financing comes a long time after with its inception as a reaction to the correcting nature of banking. As Dodd-Frank attempted to address issues within the commercial lending space, lending adapted to fill the gap. Merchant Cash Advances entered the scene in the early 2010’s to take the lending scene by storm. Incredibly fast originations with the use of technology and lower underwriting standards allowed for the rapid deployment of capital. However, things get a little spicy when looking at the payback mechanism and the costs for default are significant.

All have their place, and all have their taste. While we may be a little biased, we prefer the old school method. Camel leverages accounts receivable, just like Factors, to add liquidity on completed contracts awaiting payment. If the bigger picture of your company is too much for the bank and you’re not a fan of the spice’s price, Camel can structure a credit line that’s a modern take on a tried and true concept.

New England Clam “Chowdah”

Join our very own Helena Sopwith, Managing Director here at Camel Financial, as she prepares her favorite New England Chowder recipe!


  •       2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound cooked bacon diced
  •       6 ounces of canned clams
  •       1 yellow onion chopped
  •       4 medium sized potatoes peeled and diced
  •        2 stalks celery diced
  •    2-4 cloves garlic minced
  •        3 cups Chicken stock
  •        1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (or more)
  •        1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  •   1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  •    1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or fresh)
  •       2 cups half and half
  •       2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • Sautee olive oil, onion, garlic and celery in pan
  • Add half of the bacon, clams, onion, potatoes, celery, garlic, chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, Kosher salt, black pepper and thyme into the slow cooker and stir.
  • Cook on low for 6 hours and refrigerate the remaining bacon for serving with the soup.
  • In a measuring cup add the half and half with the cornstarch and whisk together.
  • Add in the half and half mixture to the slow cooker and stir.
  • Cook on high for 30 minutes.
  • Serve with the remainder of the bacon sprinkled over the top.