In New England, tomato-clam business like what you see above is generally regarded as evil as Voldemort on a bad day. A cream base is the only acceptable foundation for clam chowder, and even then, there are rules: no strange additions (like peppers or, ahem, corn). But a love of fresh summer corn brings strange bedfellows, which is how it ended up here, in this pot full of late-summer bounty.
There are some things that will forever reveal my Midwestern heart, and a fierce, enduring love of sweet corn is one of them. Growing up in Wisconsin, a highlight of each year was the annual corn festival, where I got a box of freshly-steamed ears, trucked in from the field where they were picked that same morning. Mouth watering, I watched as my ears were yanked off of the conveyor belt and onto giant blocks of Wisconsin butter, where strong hands twisted them until they shone slick in the August sun. Salt shakers dangled from clotheslines, and I'd carefully salt each ear, turning for an even sprinkling. Perfect rows of fat yellow kernels would pop as you bit into them, tasting of the sun that grew them.