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What is Pâté? Understanding and Enjoying the Delightful French Snack

What is Pâté? Understanding and Enjoying the Delightful French Snack

What is Pâté?

Pâté is roughly translated from the French word “paste” or coarse mixture. It is made from a mixture of meats, vegetables, or seafood combined with a mixture of spices, wines, liquor and other ingredients such as truffles, wild mushrooms, pistachios, and more. It is commonly enjoyed on a charcuterie board, in a French baguette sandwich, or with a side of Petit Toasts.

Today, the word pâté is used to describe this type (or category) of food in a broad, general sense. The finer points of differentiation lie in the pâté’s texture and shape.

Discussing Pâté

When discussing pâté or browsing products on our site, you'll often hear terms such as "mousse," "coarse cut," "terrine," and "slice." These words refer to either the texture or shape/container of the pâté:

Mousse (Texture)

A mousse means the pâté has a silky and velvety texture. It should be spreadable, light and airy, & creamy on the palate.

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Country or Coarse Cut (Texture)

A country-style or coarse cut pâté has a coarse and granular texture from the coarse grind of the meat and vegetables used throughout the pâté. It is smooth and a bit chewy. It is typically served cubed, sliced, or in a sandwich like Bánh Mì

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    Terrine (Form)

    A terrine is the earthenware or container in which the pâté or mousse is baked. Today it is commonly used to describe the loaf shape of any meat, poultry, game, vegetable, or seafood mixture.

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      Slice (Shape)

      What originally started as 5 pound loaves of pâté sold in deli shops eventually evolved into Three Little Pigs’ 5.5 oz slice and best-selling product line. Carefully crafted according to traditional French recipes, our pâté slices are hand-cut & packaged to suit the modern consumer.

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        How to enjoy and serve pâté

        When it comes to pâté, the serving options are endless. Here are a few of our favorites:

        • Serve coarse and country-style pâtés cubed or sliced. Serve mousses in your favorite ramekin or invert the mold to place directly on the board, and don’t forget the spreader!
        • Display on a traditional charcuterie board with your favorite cured meats, Cornichons, Olives Vertes Lucques, Moutarde, an assortment of cheeses, and fresh fruits. 
        • Pack in a picnic basket with Petit Toasts, fresh fruits, and cheeses.
        • Use as a filling for savory pastries such as vol-au-vent, puff pastry cups, or tarts.
        • Make an elegant, edible centerpiece
        • Serve with a crudité platter full of fresh vegetables sticks for a bright and healthy pairing.
        • Spread on a bagel, bread, or crackers.
        • Use as a salad topping for added flavor and protein.
        • Add as an unexpected garnish to complement your martini.
        • Include a vegetarian option at gatherings where you’re unsure of dietary preferences.
        • Use in your favorite Beef Wellington recipe.
        • Make a Bánh Mì, which is great for any course cut, especially Pâté de Campagne.