Word of the Day – Tuesday, July 24th



Word of the Day


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1. (payt) archaic: a person's head
2. (pah-TAY) a meat paste, such as pate de foie gras
Common clues: Crown
; Hors d'oeuvre spread; Top of the head; ____ de foie gras; Noggin; Cracker spread; Party spread; Canape topper; Fancy chopped liver; Bean, so to speak
Crossword puzzle frequency: 3 times a year
Frequency in English language: 32123 / 86800
Raising the Standard, Chicken Liver Pate

Ay,” quoth Little John, had I but mine own good staff here, it would pleasure me hugely to crack thy knave's pate, thou saucy braggart!”


A paté is a spreadable paste, usually made from meat although vegetarian variants exist, and often served with toast as a starter. It is a French word which designates a mixture of minced meat (often from the less desirable parts) and fat, it should not be confused with "paté en croute" which now means paté within a crust or bun, but used to serve as a term for "meat pastry or pie."

Various pâtés and terrines

It is generally made from a finely ground or chunky mixture of meats such as liver, and often additional fat, vegetables, herbs, spices, wine and other ingredients.

In French or Belgian cuisine a pâté may be cooked in a crust as pie, in which case it is called pâté en croute. On the other hand, it may be cooked in a terrine (or other mold), often lined with fat, in which case it is known as paté en terrine. Traditionally, a forcemeat mixture cooked and served in a terrine is called a terrine, but when it is unmolded it becomes a paté. It can be cooked as, and in, a terrine, and be called for the vessel, but this has no influence on the end product.

The most famous paté is probably pâté de foie gras, which is made from the fattened livers of forcefed geese. (Note, however, that connoisseurs generally prefer the foie gras entier, which is simply foie gras cooked and sliced, and technically not made into a pâté. Also, the bloc de foie gras is not technically a pâté with respect to French cooking terminology.)

In Holland, Germany and Austria, liver paté is often made as a cooked sausage, called leverworst (Dutch) or Leberwurst (German). In English, these are sometimes called "liverwurst" (mixing English and German). Some of these products result in a meat texture which is difficult to smear, and often eaten in chunks or slices. These types have become a popular export into Eastern Europe, with significant local production now also taking place. Others are spreadable as is most French or Belgian paté; these types are more popular in England.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Paté".