chowder n : a thick soup or stew made with milk and bacon and onions and potatoes
EtymologyProb. from French chaudière "pot", from chaud, "hot" (also related to the Latin calderia and English cauldron).
Poss. from OE jowter, "fish monger".
- Rhymes: -aʊdə(r)
Chowder is any of a variety of soups, enriched with salt pork fatback and thickened with flour, or more traditionally with crushed ship biscuit or saltine crackers, and milk. To some Americans, it means clam chowder, made with cream or milk in most places, or with tomato as "Manhattan clam chowder." Corn chowder is a thick soup filled with whole corn (maize) kernels. The most accepted etymology for the word chowder comes from the pot in which it is cooked. The French word chaudron translated means "a pot," developed from chaud, "hot" (also related to the Latin calderia and English cauldron). The word "chowder" is a New England word that came from Newfoundland, where Breton fishermen — who would throw portions of the day's catch and other available foods into a large pot — introduced the word, and perhaps the fish soup itself (compare bouillabaisse). Another possible origin for the word chowder is derived from the Old English "jowter", which means fishmonger (one who peddles fish).
Fish chowder, along with corn and clam chowder, continues to enjoy popularity in New England and Atlantic Canada. Seafood chowder is a traditional and popular dish in Ireland. Sometimes the freshest clam chowder can have a gritty consistency due to small particles of sand still present in the clams at the time of preparation.
Southern Illinois ChowderThe meaning of chowder in Southern Illinois is completely different from that of the New England meaning of chowder. In Edwards County, Illinois, the term "chowder" is of French-Indian origin and means not only the actual chowder which is eaten, but also the social gathering at which it is made and eaten. It is very popular in the southern part of the United States and is believed to have been brought to this area by the earliest settlers, or "backwoodsmen'. Traditionally, "chowder time" starts when the tomatoes ripen and closes with the first heavy frost.
Chowder is usually cooked outside in large black kettles or cauldrons, ranging in size from 20 to 70 gallons. The various ingredients used in making chowder are added to the boiling water, according to their time for cooking, so that all of the ingredients become ready at the same time. Chowder is usually finished when the ingredients have cooked up into a fairly thick soup usually four or more hours. The kettles must be stirred almost continuously while cooking so that the chowder does not scorch. The stirring is accomplished with the use of a wooden blade from eighteen to twenty-four inches long and six to eight inches wide that has several holes bored in it. To the blade is attached a handle at right angles near the end of it. The stirring device is commonly referred as a "paddle."
In 1958, the County Commissioners of Edwards County, Illinois, proclaimed their county the "Chowder Capital of the World."
References to chowder in popular culture
- In at least one episode of The Simpsons chowder is referred to as Springfield Meatloaf. The pronunciation of the word "chowder" (properly pronounced in a New England accent as "chowdah") also served as an important plot element in another episode, The Boy Who Knew Too Much. In another Simpsons episode, Homer while praying to God thanks Him "for giving us two kinds of Clam Chowder".
- In the song, c. 1898 by George L. Giefer "Who Threw the Overalls in Mistress Murphy's Chowder," which survives primarily (slightly corrupted) as a repeated children's chant "Who put the overalls in Mrs. Murphy's chowder?/Nobody answered so we asked a little louder." Lyrics at http://lyricsplayground.com/alpha/songs/w/whothrewtheoverallsinmrsmurphyschowder.shtml, http://sniff.numachi.com/~rickheit/dtrad/pages/tiMRPHCHOW;ttMRPHCHOW.html, http://www.heftone.com/words/who_threw_the_overalls_in_mrs_murphys_chowder.html, tune at http://www.kididdles.com/mouseum/w057.html, 1901 audio recording at http://www.archive.org/audio/audio-details-db.php?collection=opensource_audio&collectionid=EDIS-SRP-0205-20. There is a separate song, "Mrs. Murphy's Chowder"http://www.kididdles.com/lyrics/m012.html, of unknown origin.
- "Chowderhead" is a vernacular insult. Wentworth and Flexner: "A stupid person; one who uses poor judgment. Since c. 1835." (One of many expressions analogizing a head to a soft, mushy substance). The term is frequently used in the popular comic strip Calvin and Hobbes.
- Chowder appears in Chapter 15 of "Moby-Dick". Clam and cod chowder are served to Ishmael and Qeequeg in Hosea Hussey's Try Pots Inn at Nantucket the evening before Ishmael sets foot on the Pequod for the first time.http://etext.virginia.edu/etcbin/toccer-new2?id=Mel2Mob.sgm&images=images/modeng&data=/texts/english/modeng/parsed&tag=public&part=15&division=div1
- In Fight Club Marla Singer orders the clam chowder. Knowing that many of the members 'pollute' the food, the narrator asks the waiter for "clean food please", to which the reply is "In that case sir may I advise against the lady having the clam chowder."
- Chowder (TV series) is the name of a cartoon as well as its main character. Many of its fictional characters and locations are named after whimsical-sounding foods.
- Boston blogger and broadcaster Dean Barnett is known as "chowdah" for his thick regional accent.http://dbsoxblog.blogspot.com/
- in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Jim Carrey uses the password "New England Clam Chowder" to get into the secret lab of his computer guru friend. The second question, "Is that the red or the white?" is answered "white."
- In an episode ofLil Bush, when Lil' George is using his dad's computer to drop nuclear bombs on people, George H. W. Bush comes in and scolds his son for misusing the army computers. Lil George defends himself by asking his father if there is anyone in the world whom he is angry enough at to drop a nuclear bomb on. He then asks his father "Remember that clam shack in Kennebunkport? George Bush Sr. then replies "They shouldn't call it clam chowder if there's no clams in it!" He then drops a bomb on the clam shack in question, which is called "Al's Veagan Clam Shack".
- Jeongol, a chowder-like stew in Korean cuisine
chowder in German: Chowder
chowder in Spanish: Chowder
chowder in Japanese: チャウダー
chowder in Polish: Chowder
Irish stew, bisque, borscht, bouillabaisse, bouillon, broth, burgoo, chicken soup, clam chowder, clear soup, consomme, curry, egg drop soup, etuvee, fish soup, fricassee, gazpacho, goulash, gravy soup, gumbo, julienne, matzo ball soup, meat stew, minestrone, misoshiru soup, mock turtle soup, mulligan, mulligan stew, mulligatawny, olio, olla, olla podrida, oxtail soup, oyster stew, paella, pot-au-feu, potage, potage au tomate, potato soup, pottage, puree, ragout, soup, stew, stock, thick soup, thin soup, tomato soup, turtle soup, vegetable soup, vichyssoise, won ton soup