updated 10/14/2008 12:37:09 PM ET 2008-10-14T16:37:09

You get one type of chowder in Boston and another in Manhattan.

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But there's a third variety of clam stew called Minorcan chowder, and for that you'll have to head to St. Augustine, on the northeast coast of Florida.

A group of Minorcan families, originally from the Mediterranean island of Minorca off the coast of Spain, settled in St. Augustine in the late 18th century, and their culinary traditions — including use of fresh seafood and locally grown hot peppers known as datil — survive today. Minorcan chowder typically includes datil peppers along with clams and tomatoes.

St. Augustine hosts a Great Chowder Debate every year to find the best Minorcan chowders and other seafood stews, and dozens of area restaurants take part in the competition. Last year's winners for best Minorcan chowder were O'Steen's Restaurant in first place, Hot Shot Bakery as No. 2, and Hurricane Patty's taking the third spot.

This year's Great Chowder Debate is scheduled for Nov. 2, beginning at 12:30 p.m., at the Conch House Marina Resort, 57 Comares Ave. The public is invited to taste the contest entries at 50 cents a sample, with proceeds benefiting the Shriners Hospitals for Children.

If you're traveling to St. Augustine from out of town, plan your trip through getaway4florida.com. The Conch House also offers lodging.

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