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Terrines, Mousses, Rillettes and Foie gras

Terrines, mousses, rillettes and foie gras

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A terrine and a pâté are, for all practical purposes, the same thing. They are both made with a mixture of different meats, giblets or offal, fish, vegetables and fresh fruit. Both are finely chopped, seasoned and pressed, sometimes even strained through a sieve.

An egg is added to bind the ingredients, some aromatic herbs and spices and the mixture is transferred to an earthenware pot (a terrine actually) and then cooked slowly for a long time. Once cooked, it is pressed and left to cool for 24 hours.

Pork has always had its place in the preparation of terrines. Nowadays, terrines are also made with boar, deer, rabbit or poultry.

Terrines are generally flavoured with garlic, peppercorns, herbs, truffles, cognac, Port, or other alcoholic beverage. Deli specialists, particularly small-scale producers, develop their own recipes for terrines.


Delicious mousses are also becoming popular, some made with poultry liver, foie gras, fish or vegetables. The difference in the preparation of a mousse is that egg whites and crème fraîche or butter are added to the basic, mashed ingredients.



These deli products are prepared by mixing small pieces of lean meat and animal fat with seasoning. The result is then cooked slowly in fat.

Once cooked, the mixture is left to cool somewhat before it is mashed coarsely. As a rule, the texture of a rillette is not as smooth as that of a terrine or a pâté. The meat is then poured into a mould or pot and covered with fat, goose fat or jelly.

Rillettes were traditionally made with pork or goose meat. Today, you can find rillettes made with rabbit, poultry, duck, veal and even fish!