Pate - Gourmet Guide

June 12, 2019 | By Dave Mattingly

Pate is an hors d'oeuvre made of seasoned ground meat, poultry, seafood, or vegetables, mixed with fat and other base ingredients, such as herbs, spices or alcohol. Pate can have a smooth or coarse texture. Pate is often served baked in a crust (en croute) or molded in a terrine. Some Pates are finished with a garnish for flavoring such as chopped nuts. Pate may be served molded or unmolded, hot or cold, but tends to develop its best flavor after being chilled.

Though common meats used in Pates include beef, pork, liver, ham, salmon, chicken and wild game, Pâté de Foie Gras is considered the king of Pates. Foie Gras is made from the liver of a specially fattened goose or duck, a delicacy that dates back to Egyptian times. While Pate is traditionally thought of as a French specialty, ancient Greek butchers sold Pate thousands of years ago, most likely as a way to save money by using all the parts of animals sold for their meat. Pate is a favorite element of charcuterie, the French term for preserved meats. The techniques used to make charcuterie gained popularity in the Middle Ages as means to lengthen the shelf life of meat and fish. By the 15th century, Pates were popular for their convenience, since large amounts of Pate could be cooked in communal ovens. In the early 1800s, famous French chef Marie-Antoine Careme became known for his grandiose Pate recipes, and a hundred years later, world-renowned French chef Auguste Escoffier elevated Pate to haute cuisine status. Regional variations of Pate are found throughout Europe. Liver Pates in countries such as Germany and the Netherlands were called leverworst or leberwurst. Known as liverwurst in the US, this encased liver Pate is often sliced for use in sandwiches. Interestingly, the all American dish meatloaf has its roots in French Pate de Campagne, a Pate made from a mixture of pork and bacon.

Enjoy our fresh, never-frozen Pates supplied by Les Trois Petits Cochons, Rougie, Fabrique Delices and other respected producers. From authentic French recipes, our Pates are made from duck, goose liver, foie gras, salmon, chicken and pork. Available in coarse and mousse varieties, serve a terrine at your next party. To find the best gourmet pate and gift baskets online, begin your search at