chow \CHOU\, noun:
1. Food, especially hearty dishes or a meal.
1. "Chow down:" to eat; eat a meal, especially the main meal of the day.
The chow callers were screaming that there was one minute left before morning meal formation.
-- James Webb, A sense of honor
It was almost time for the chow-wagon to show-up.
-- George W. Adams, Under the Southern Cross
Chow originates among Chinese workers in California around the Gold Rush, shortened from the pidgin chow-chow, derived from cha, Chinese for "mixed."