A seasoned ground meat preparation made from a mixture of fine or coarsely ground meats, poultry, fish, fruits, or vegetables. Fine ground Pâtés are typically spreadable while more coarse gound Pâtés are firmer in texture. Translated from a French term meaning paste
,Pâté was originally used to describe a type of pie, but today has become more of a terrine
in the manner in which it is formed when firmer in substance. Pâté, with a smooth spreadable texture, is attributed to gourmet processes or food processors attempting to provide a "finer" more elegant presentation of the food. Pâté, ground fairly coarse in texture, was often considered to be a "country" pâté, since it represented more of a home-style preparation.
In addition to ingredient categories, pâtés have often been defined by the way they are prepared. If it is prepared without the use of a mold, it is referred to simply as "pâté." When cooked in a any type of mold, such as a terrine that is commonly lined with pork fat, it is known as "pâté en terrine." When cooked enclosed within a crust, it is called a "pâté en croute." Served hot or cold, pâtés can be prepared as an appetizer to be spread on bite-sized foods or presented as the first course of a meal, most often being made with a molded shape or in a pastry crust. Properly refrigerated, a Pâté can be kept for 3 to 4 weeks.