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Chowder refers to a stew like dish made from bacon and seafood and condensed with crushed ship biscuit. It denotes clam chowder, prepared with cream or milk in many places, or with tomato like in Manhattan clam chowder for some Americans or New Englanders. It is a dense soup, generally garnished with small carrot strips, parsley or bay leaves that enhance its flavor. Corn chowder is a dense soup full of whole corn kernels. Classic chowder is laden with pieces of fresh seasonal ingredients served through a creamy or clear broth. Making and cooking of chowders can consume little more time than the simple recipes. Popular chowder recipesinclude - Clam chowder, Corn chowder, Southern Illinois chowder, Salmon And Corn Chowder, West Coast Chowder and Conch Chowder.

History of Chowder

Chowder has its origins in the Latin word calderia that initially meant a location for warming things and afterwards referred to cooking pot.

The basic chowder recipes, in the past deemed as "poor man's food" consist of a history which is centuries old. Fish chowders were the predecessors of clam chowder. The chowders initially made by the early settlers varied from other fish soups as they added salt pork and ship's biscuits. The Oxford English Dictionary traces the term chowder to the fishing villages alongside the coast of France from Bordeaux to Brittany. There are also old European accounts made in the Cornwall region of Southwestern England and in the Brittany region of northwestern France.

Ingredients Used and Popular Methods of Preparation of Chowder

Chowder recipesare varied to make different kinds of chowder. Basic chowder would be a simple clam chowder. Clams are cleaned and picked using cold water. The water is drained and reserved thereupon. It is heated to boiling-point and strained. The hard part of clams is chopped and pork is finely cut into small pieces and tried out. Onion needs to be fried in a pan for about five minutes and strained into a stew-pan. Then, the potatoes have to be boiled for five minutes in boiling water to cover. The water must be drained and layer in bottom of stew-pan must be put. To this, chopped clams must be added and be sprinkled with salt and pepper. These along with potatoes are dredged with flour and salt and boiled to make the chowder. Before serving, it may be boiled for a couple or three minutes and added with crackers split and butter.

Serving and Eating Chowder

Clam chowder can be served as an appetizer or main dish. There are several chowder recipesof clam chowder soup and all use different ingredients, colors and tastes. It is normally served with crackers, bread or biscuits and garnished with parsley.

Popular Chowder Variations

Rhode Island clam chowder contains clear broth which at times may be red on account of tomatoes. Although it does not have tomato chunks and other vegetables like carrots or beans. It chiefly has quahogs, broth, potatoes, onions and bacon.

New England clam chowder is a conventional milk or cream-based chowder containing layered crackers and other classic ingredients.It is also called as ‘Boston Clam Chowder’ in some areas.

Manhattan clam chowder is among chowder recipeswhere tomatoes are used as a base for this soup. It is also called as ‘Coney Island Clam Chowder’.

Yorktown Clam Chowder makes use of beer or ale as its base.

Corn chowder, Southern Illinois chowder, Salmon And Corn Chowder, West Coast Chowder, Boston, Minorcan, Outer banks, Delaware clam chowder and Conch Chowder are other variants or chowder recipes.

Health and Nutrition Facts of Chowder

Calories in chowder recipescan vary based on the ingredients and methods of preparation.

There are 163 calories in a cup of Clam Chowder.

Calorie details- 32% fat, 46% carbs, 22% protein.

Clam chowder soup is loaded with vitamins like vitamin A, K and B12. It is a great source of vitamin C, choline and folate. It is also high in minerals such as zinc, iron and magnesium. The antioxidant essentials such as selenium make it a healthy food. However it is very high in sodium which is not favorable for health. Hence, it must be had in limited quantity.

One cup of New England Clam Chowder provides 161 calories.

Calorie details- 36% fat, 41% carbs, 23% protein.

One cup of Manhattan Clam Chowder contains 106 calories.

Calorie details- 24% fat, 58% carbs, 18% protein.

One cup of Fish Chowder packs in 190 calories.

Calorie details- 24% fat, 25% carbs, 51% protein.

One cup of Potato Chowder packs in 218 calories.

Calorie details- 54% fat, 34% carbs, 12% protein.

One package yields of Chunky Chicken Mushroom Corn Chowder has 431 calories.

Calorie details- 50% fat, 36% carbs, 14% protein.

Miscellaneous Facts About Chowder

The actual Boston Cooking School Cook Book published in 1884, authored by Mrs. D.A. Lincoln (also called Mary Bailey) had Clam Chowder recipes.