chaudiere…chaudiere…say it! by Brian Laneve

22 09 2008

..that was from the Simpson’s..remember that episode? Well they say you learn something new everyday and I guess this is true. I love watching The Food Network and most of the shows on there have taught me many things. It is also ironic that most of the things we learn in school just happen to be on one of the shows sometime during the same week we are having class. We were learning about soups and chowders one day and I came home and turned the TV on and what do you know, they had a show on called All American Festivals and of course it was on chowder. The word chowder comes from the Latin word calderia which means “cooking pot” which the French translated to chaudiere. Chowder dates back to the 16th and 17th Centuries where the woman of France and Britten would put on a hot cauldron of vegetables and both sides of the English Channel and the fisherman would fish the waters and go back and forth and throw their daily catch into the pot as a welcome home celebration. They used everything and anything from their gardens and put in just about any meat, fish, or shellfish you can think of in it as well. History tells us that the American Indians introduced clams and oysters to the pilgrims and that it took quite a long time for them to get used to the idea of putting them in the chowder because they used to feed clams and oysters to their dogs because they were called “the meanest of God’s blessings”. The first know recipe published for fish chowder came from the Boston Post on September 23, 1751. Chowders were cooked using the “layering method” which means they layered all the ingredients in the pot and it was almost never stirred. The first cookbook authored by an American was in 1796 called American Cookery by Amelia Simmons. In 1800 the second edition came out and gave us the first chowder recipe in a cookbook. Hope you enjoyed learning a little about Chowder, Below is the recipe from that cookbook in 1800.

Chouder – Take a bass weighing four pounds, boil half an hour; take six slices raw salt pork, fry them till the lard is nearly extracted, one dozen crackers soaked in cold water five minutes; put the bass into the lard, also the pieces of pork and crackers, cover close, and fry for 20 minutes; serve with potatoes, pickles, apple-sauce or mangoes; garnish with green parsley.

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