We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Goose Liver Pate?

By Carol Luther
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
DelightedCooking is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At DelightedCooking, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Goose liver pate is a culinary paste or spread made from the fatty liver — or foie gras — of a goose. It is considered a delicacy by some, though others would prefer that it be banned on animal-cruelty grounds. To make a pate, one combines a goose’s engorged liver with seasonings and wine or brandy. The liver is then cooked and compressed into a cake of liver.

The first step in the process of making goose liver pate is forcing a goose to eat copious amounts of food while denying it exercise. This process, based on one developed by ancient Egyptians and Romans, results in a goose with a fatty liver. The most common food used for this purpose is a grain such as wheat or corn, though ancient Romans also appear to have fed figs to their geese. When French cooks adopted this process as part of their own culinary traditions, they began to call it la gavage.

Geese are birds that have a natural tendency to develop fat throughout their bodies. The geese used to make goose liver pate get extra food that makes them develop a fatty liver. Once the goose’s keeper thinks its liver has enough fat, the goose is slaughtered.

The goose liver is then cooked in a terrine, a glass dish with tall sides. The lid is weighted to force the stored fat in the goose’s liver to rise to the top of the dish. After the cooked liver is chilled, the resulting pate is served as an appetizer or full course in a multicourse meal.

Goose liver pate is simple, yet sophisticated. The classic accompaniment for goose liver pate is a freshly baked baguette of French bread. When none is available, one can substitute a dense white bread or crackers. If one uses crackers, the flavor must be subtle so it does not overpower the rich flavor of the pate.

One can make liver pate with the liver of other types of poultry, but they will not have the same flavor as goose liver. In the French countryside, cooks often substitute duck liver when a fattened goose is not available. These poultry alternates also may require a different seasoning strategy.

With the advent of refrigeration, it is not necessary to consume an entire pate immediately after preparing it. Goose liver pate lasts up to three days under refrigeration. The unused portion should be kept tightly wrapped.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Link to Sources
Discussion Comments
By Krunchyman — On May 20, 2014

I live near the Chicago area. Considering how foie gras has been banned, does anyone know any restaurants that serve it? Preferably any five star restaurants.

By Viranty — On May 19, 2014

@RoyalSpyder - I definitely agree with you. Thankfully though, I live in Chicago, and foie gras has been completely banned. It's good to know that there are those who actually care about what goes on behind closed doors.

However, considering how this has been going on for countless years, it's more than likely a process that was passed down from generations.

By RoyalSpyder — On May 19, 2014

Though I've never actually tried foie gras before, it sure sounds like a tasty delicacy. However, even if I was given the opportunity, I would refuse to eat it, especially considering how the geese are force fed. Not only is it animal cruelty, but it also shows that a lot of people are willing to get food by any means necessary, and that they don't care about the animals feelings.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.