French fishermen, who cooked thick soup made of fish and vegetables in chaudières or cauldrons (from Latin caldaria, cooking pot, from caldus, warm), brought their recipe to North American, where it took the name of the cooking implement and became chowder in English. Check out this Saffron, Sweetcorn and Seafood Chowder recipe; I tried it on Saturday and it was fantastic.

By | 2016-10-18T15:50:49+00:00 September 19th, 2005|Words|2 Comments

About the Author:

I am Céline Graciet, a freelance English to French translator. Since 2003 I’ve been writing on all sorts of areas linked to translation and the life of a translator.


  1. Alex Hinge September 27, 2005 at 4:28 pm

    Is it possible that Chowder could have derived from the term ‘chow’ – to eat, or ‘chow down’ which could be defined as ‘bon appetit’?

  2. céline September 28, 2005 at 9:28 am

    According to The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer:
    Chow down
    Eat, as in He’s always ready to chow down at dinner time. Originally military slang, this term is now more widely used. The noun chow in the sense of food, originating from either Chinese or pidgin English in the 18th century, also appears in such terms as chow line, a line of people waiting for food, and chow time, mealtime. [Slang; mid-1900s]
    Nice idea, but the fact that “chowder” comes from the French “chaudière” seems to be well-documented.

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