Parfait vs Pate

By | December 21, 2019

Apparently, many people become confused with the difference between parfait vs pate due to the popularity of chicken liver parfait, which indeed looks very similar to pate. Actually, parfait and pate are two very different things. Parfait may refer to two types of frozen dessert. On the other hand, Pate is a spreadable paste made of primarily ground meat and fat. Continue reading below to understand better about parfait and pate!

What is Parfait?

The word “parfait” actually originated from a French word which means “perfect”. The term “parfait” may refer to two different types of frozen dessert that are quite different from each other. In France, which is the place where the dish originated, parfait is made by boiling egg, cream, syrup, and sugar to create a custard-like puree. It does not need to be served in a parfait glass.

The French parfait can be made without specialized equipment. The fat, sugar, alcohol, and air interfere with the formation of water crystals, which may make the texture uncomfortable. The resulting texture is quite similar to that of an ice cream.

On the other hand, there is an American version which involves more ingredients such as nuts, yoghurt, granola, liqueurs, and gelatin desserts along with a topping of whipped cream or fruits. The American parfait is often layered and served in a special tall glass. The layers often have different colors, which make it look so fancy and interesting.

The recent trends have also introduced parfaits that are made by layering yoghurt with granola, fresh fruits, and nuts. The most common fruits used for parfaits are strawberries, peaches, and blueberries. The fresh, sour taste of the fruits combined with the sweetness of the yoghurt makes parfaits very enjoyable.

Chicken Liver Parfait

Well, we have been talking about parfaits in general. However, in the United Kingdom, the word “parfait” may also be used to refer to a very smooth meat paste or pate. This is probably why some people are confused with parfait vs pate, especially with the popularity of chicken liver parfait.

This type of parfait is actually more similar to pate, than to the common parfaits. This parfait can be made from chicken liver or duck liver. Some people believe that chicken liver parfait is pretty similar to pate, except that the texture is much smoother.

In order to make chicken liver parfait, you need the freshest free-range chicken livers. To store the livers, put it in a jar with a little melted butter on the top to prevent oxidation. Put it in a fridge.

Chicken liver parfait is made by cooking the chicken livers in grapeseed oil on a high heat quickly, until they are browned but still pink in the middle. Remove them from the pan. Now cook some garlic and eschalot for three minutes while adding alcohol. Simmer for about five minutes until the mix is reduced to syrup. Finally, pour the livers and the mix into a blender along with butter and cream. Blend, season, and strain through a sieve into a jar. Chill for at least four hours before serving.

What is Pate?

Even when referring to chicken liver parfait, parfait vs pate are not exactly the same. Pate is a mixture of ground meat and fat that are minced into a spreadable paste. It is often mixed with vegetables, spices, herbs, and either brandy or wine. Interestingly, the most common liqueurs used for Pate are armagnac and cognac. While chicken liver parfait is chilled, pate can be served either hot or cold – although it is considered to have the fullest flavor after getting chilled for a few days.

Pate is just like caviar that it is often associated with wealth. However, pate is actually quite versatile; it can be as fancy as possible for the grandest occasion, or an inexpensive yet enticing appetizer for a home party.

The History of Pate

Pate is often associated with French cuisine. Of course, the word “pate” also originated from a French word meaning “pie”. Traditionally, pate is served baked in a crust or molded as a terrine. The funny thing is, the crust wasn’t originally intended to be eaten. It was only to hold the pate together.

Nevertheless, “pate” and “terrine” are now often used interchangeably. Pate can be smooth/creamy or chunky. It can be served hot or cold, molded or unmolded. Liver, beef, ham, pork, wild game, seafood, poultry, and vegetables are all good candidates for pate.

Variations of the dish are very common all over the world. It is possible that Americans who are fans of liverwurst are unfamiliar with pate, unaware that the two are essentially the same. Liverwurst in the sliced form is a common sandwich filler. Pate can also be found in Belgia, Netherlands, Germany, Romania, Hungary, Denmark, Austria, Sweden, Poland, Russia, and even Vietnam, though with different names.

Liver Consumption

People often question whether liver is safe for consumption. The answer is yes, of course! It is true that liver is the organ that works for removing waste and toxins from the blood; but this does not mean that the liver stores them. Liver is rich in vitamins and minerals, and liver is one of the most nutritious organs that you can consume.

Chicken liver parfait and pate are often high in fat and cholesterol. These dishes can give you lots of health benefits. You only need to avoid such dishes if you have high cholesterol levels. Liver is also known to be an anti-fatigue ingredient; it can boost your energy levels and make you stronger to go through the day.

- A frozen dessert made from cream and egg or layers of yoghurt and fruits- A mixture of ground meat and fat, minced into a spreadable paste
- Smoother texture- May be smooth or chunky
- May use nuts, yoghurt, granola, liqueurs, and gelatin desserts- Liver, beef, ham, pork, wild game, seafood, poultry, or veggies
- Usually served for dessert- Traditionally served for appetizer
- Always chilled- May be served hot or cold, molded or unmolded


Parfait vs pate are very different. Parfait is a frozen dessert. There are several types of parfait; the original one is simpler, while the modern one often has more layers of yoghurt and fruits. Chicken liver parfait, however, is made of chicken livers. It is chilled, and it has a smoother texture than pate. On the other hand, pate always refers to a mix of ground meat and liver, despite the variations. Pate is an appetizer, and can be served hot or cold, molded or unmolded.

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