The Age old debate; Pate vs Terrine

When it comes to passion, it’s of no surprise that tucking into a creamy pate or a slice of terrine is a favourite past time of many of us here at P&H Fine Foods. But perhaps you are wondering what is in fact the difference between a pate and terrine? Here at P&H we really take pride in our pates and terrines, developed and produced from the finest fresh and raw ingredients using age old artisan techniques, they are some of our most popular offerings.

Both pates and terrines fall into the category of what is known as charcuterie, a term used to describe smoked, dry- cured or cooked meats. A typically European cuisine that was originally developed as a way to preserve meats without the need for refrigeration. It is unknown as to which country it originates from exactly with many a debate between French and Italian food heritage. Nonetheless, the French have indeed become masters of the charcuterie, a process that is truly an artform in itself and allows rich, decadent flavours to be infused and developed throughout the preservation process.

A typical pate is made by blending a combination of liver, cream, herbs and liqueur into a fine emulsion, which is then preserved via cooking methods resulting in a smooth, spreadable texture. Aspic which is the technical term for what some may know as ‘meat jello’ is very often added to the outside, not only as a way to maintain visual appeal by preventing oxidisation which can cause a slight greying to the pate, but also for taste and added flavour. For me especially I find the layer of meat jello adds a little more dimension and kick to the flavour and really can be quite a show stopper in its visual effect. One of our skilled chefs and pate connoisseurs Ray, was lucky enough to learn the art of pate making from two masters of the craft.

I was shown the traditional methods not only as a skill, but as a true artform. Once you master the mixing techniques and recognise the limitations in temperature in mixes, you can really start to add in your own flare and creativity.

Pic: Pate Supreme

In contrast a terrine has a chunkier appearance and texture and is most often made in a loaf style shape and served in slices rather than spread like pate, Terrines can be either made from meat whether it be duck, pork, chicken, or lamb coarsely chopped and left quite chunky in consistency, or purely vegetarian without any meat. The ingredients are marinated together and pressed into a mould with an emulsion such as a liver puree or mousseline base used in the mix to bind together the chunkier ingredients. A terrine has a more rustic feel and appearance to its smooth pate counterpart.

Pic: Duck Princess Terrine

Interested to know more? Or to try our range of pates or terrines? At P&H we are constantly developing new products and utilising age-old artisan techniques to create products that we believe truly are a pleasure to eat. We also offer a bespoke service developing unique one-off products for our clients. So why not get in touch with us today and try out one of our infamous pates or terrines. Or perhaps chat to us about creating a custom flavour for your business.

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