Chowder (commonly pronounced Chow-dur, but occasionally pronounced chow-dah or chow-dare) is any of a variety of soups, enriched with salt pork fatback and thickened with flour, or more traditionally with crushed ship biscuit or saltine crackers, and milk. To some Americans, it means clam chowder, made with cream or milk in most places, or with tomato as "Manhattan clam chowder." Corn chowder is a thick soup filled with whole corn (maize) kernels. The most accepted etymology for the word chowder comes from the pot in which it is cooked. The French word chaudron translated means "a pot," developed from chaud, "hot" (also related to the Latin calderia and English cauldron). The word "chowder" is a New England word that came from Newfoundland, where Breton fishermen — who would throw portions of the day's catch and other available foods into a large pot — introduced the word, and perhaps the fish soup itself (compare bouillabaisse). Another possible origin for the word chowder is derived from the Old English "jowter", which means fishmonger (one who peddles fish).
Fish chowder, along with corn and clam chowder, continues to enjoy popularity in New England and Atlantic Canada. Seafood chowder is a traditional and popular dish in Ireland. Sometimes the freshest clam chowder can have a gritty consistency due to small particles of sand still present in the clams at the time of preparation.