The term chowder is obscure. One possible source is the French word chaudiere, the type of cooking/heating stove on which the first chowders were probably cooked. The Oxford dictionary traces the word chowder to the fishing villages along the coast of France from Bordeaux to Brittany. There are also references to the Cornwall region of Southwestern England. These two regions are located across the English Channel from one another. When the ships returned from the sea, every village had a large chaudiere waiting for a portion of each man's catch, to be served later as part of the community's welcoming celebration.
The first and oldest-known printed fish chowder recipe was in the Boston Evening Post on September 23, 1751. By the middle of the 1800's, chowder was a mainstay throughout the Northeastern U.S.
The phonetic variant chowda, found in New England is believed to have originated in Newfoundland in the days when Breton fisherman would throw portions of the day's catch into a large pot, along with other available ingredients.
Thick and Creamy New England Clam Chowder
8 pieces of bacon, cut into small pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (5oz.) cans of baby clams, with juice reserved
6 Yukon Gold potatoes, diced
2 (10 1/2 oz.) cans cream of celery soup
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup 2% milk
1 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon dill
salt and pepper, to taste
Add bacon to sauce pan and cook on medium heat until crispy. Remove from pan and drain on a paper towel.
Add onion to pan and cook until translucent. Transfer onion to a large stock pot and then add reserved clam juice.
Add the potatoes and cook covered until they are fork tender, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally so they don't stick.
Add clams, soup, cream, milk and dill. Stir together, then add butter.
Cook together for about 30 minutes or until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
Recipe courtesy of Food.com
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