Pate just like Caviar, is a dish associated with luxury but some people don’t even know what it is. If you mention pate to someone in the know and what comes to their mind first will either be expensive gourmet duck liver or chopped liver. Both are correct, of course, but there’s much more to know about Pate. It can be as fancy as you like, suitable for the grandest occasion, or an inexpensive appetizer at a dinner party.
Pate (pronounced pah-TAY) is French for “paste.” It is traditionally served baked in a crust or molded as a terrine. The crust of the en croûte version, interestingly enough, was not originally intended to be eaten. The original purpose of the crust was actually to hold the Pate together. Although Pate is most associated with French cuisine, variations on this dish can be found all over the world. Most Pates are much simpler to prepare than you might expect so no worries! It can be served hot or cold and also, a pro tip: chillin it for a few days will enrich its flavor.
So far we know Pate is a luxurious dish that comes from French cuisine. But what is exactly Pate? How is it made? Pate is traditionally made with liver, and mixed with wine and spices until it’s cooked down into a spreadable texture. It can also be created with liver or other parts of pork, venison, chicken, fish, duck and other game, and even created with veggies on occasion. Some Pates are coarse and rustic, whereas others are fine and smooth. However, one thing that all types of pate will have in common is that they are delicious!
At this point you may be wondering how to eat Pate and how to serve it. Pate can be eaten as a lunch dish, an evening starter or, possibly, a main component in “Tea party”. Accompaniments for meat Pates and fish Pates require little more than toast and a few refreshing celery sticks or radish slices. Toasts are also a great partner with Pate. A grilled, properly spiky sourdough bread would be the ideal here, but any decent, thick-cut real white or granary bread will do. But also any type of fresh baguette, sliced toasted baguette, or crackers works very well. Let your guests serve themselves, or spread the Pate on the bread or toast in advance and arrange them on a platter.
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A second great accompaniment is Cornichons (French for “gherkin”) are the perfect accompaniment to any type of Pate. These brined little pickles made from tiny gherkin cucumbers have the perfect combination of crunchiness and tartness, which pairs very nicely with rich meaty Pates.
For a nice dinner display an elegant way to serve Pate as an appetizer is to fill a tiny choux pastry or gougere with a cube of Pate and arrange on a platter. For a larger party, this is a great way to serve pate if you wish to pass it on a tray. Pate served on toasted bread or baguette along with a large green salad makes a simple, but scrumptious lunch or small meal. Again, cornichons make a nice addition to the plate. For a special presentation, slice the cornichon lengthwise in four to six slices and fan them out, placing one on each piece of Pate.
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Same as it happens with Caviar, there are many types of Pate. If you’re just finding this out, House of Caviar is going to show you! But there’s more, all of these products are available in our online store. Visit the Mousse & Pates section and choose your favorite. Now we’re ready to introduce you to the types of Pate, make sure to read all the descriptions and make your pick.
DUCK RILLETTE 100% DUCK MEAT ROUGIE
This product is the perfect appetizer for any dinner and also fits well on a tray display for larger parties. It tastes great on toasted baguette bread or water crackers, and pickles. This product is a French invention, so you’d love to pair it with Pinot Noir which has enough acid to cut through the duck fat.
DUCK PATE COGNAC (DUCK AND FRENCH BRANDY)
This is a Pate made with 100 % duck meat, spices, and French brandy. Sounds great to you? Serve it with a salty cracker and there you have a great appetizer.
DUCK AND PORK PATE WITH ORANGE
This Pate has a beautiful combination of earthy duck meat and creamy duck livers blended with musky pork meat, whipped with oranges and orange liqueur, and spices. This Pate is perfect to spread over a baguette or brioche bread for an appetizer or canapé.
PATE DE CAMPAGNE ( COUNTRY STYLE COARSE PATE)
This “Pate de Campagne” is a French classic and is made with coarse pork and black Peppercorns. We recommend you to serve it at room temperature with a sprinkling of salt, cornichons, dijon Mustard, and a fresh baguette. Your guest will love this!
You’ve completed your introduction into Pate. Which one caught your attention? Get ready to try a whole new universe of flavors and textures. Visit House of Caviar and choose the Pate you want to try first. You’re just one click away from all the fine food products you want. Come visit us and enjoy!