Pâté is the French word for “paste” and is traditionally served wrapped in a crust (en croûte) and baked in a terrine. Originally, the crust of the en croûte version was to hold the pâté together and was not eaten. This technique, originating in France and Belgium, became so common that today the terms pâté and terrine are often used interchangeably.
White traditional pâté contains at least some liver component, today it is most often a combination of many different base ingredients ranging from beef, ham, liver, pork, poultry, seafood, wild game, or vegetables ground together. Common additions also include herbs and spices along with brandy and wine. Grind ranges from smooth to chunky, can be presented molded or unmolded, and be served hold or cold. That said, pâté is considered to develop its full flavor profile after a few days spent chilling.