Even though the word chow means food, the word chowder has nothing to do with chow. In the early days of America, a group of French sailors were shipwrecked off the coast of Maine.
They managed to take with them some salted pork, potatoes, and crackers before they left the sinking ship. While they waited for help on shore, they gathered clams and mixed them with the potatoes, crackers, and pork in a large pot called a chaudiere. The soup tasted so good that the recipe became popular in New England, and’ the word chaudiere become chowder.
There are two kinds of clam chowder popular today. Chowder with cream added is called New England chowder, while chowder with tomatoes added is called Manhattan chowder.