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Foie gras is found on the internet, but so are many pates, pates de foie gras, duck pates, duck liver pates and goose liver pates. So, let us take a little look at what makes them different from one another.
In culinary terms, a pate (or pâté) is a mixture of finely chopped meat or offal (such as liver), fats, vegetables, eggs, herbs, spices and other ingredients. Sometimes an alcohol, such as Cognac, Armagnac or Porto might be added too.
Industrial companies who manufacture spreads will often include preservatives, artificial colouring, additives and flavourings, such as ascorbic acid (E300) and sodium nitrite (E250).
In contrast, foie gras or a bloc foie gras by its very definition contains only the foie gras itself plus a little seasoning (salt and pepper – nothing else).
“Pate de foie gras” is prepared using foie gras (it must contain at least 50%) but cannot be called simply “foie gras” which is fully legally protected. Pate de foie gras contains more than simply foie gras and seasoning; it will often include some lower quality fatty livers.
If prepared in a deep, oval or rectangular mould, the pate is known as a terrine. To make a good foie gras terrine, you need to use good quality fresh (grade A) foie gras and prepare it either in a bain marie or a pressure cooker – adding nothing but salt and pepper.
Use your imagination to discover ways to enjoy the very best foie gras – or why not try delicious and easy to make recipe “Terrine de foie gras avec ses feuilles de choux”. (English subtitles).