Taste test Smoked Mackerel pâté
Smoked mackerel pâté on toast or crackers is a simple starter for summer dinner in the garden. You can make your own very easily and cheaply, but if you'd rather pick one up ready-made in the shop, we've tried out a range of pre-prepared pâtés on offer.
Fallon & Byrne Smoked Mackerel pâté, 196g, €4.95, 9/10
There's no calorie count on the pâté from Fallon & Byrne - and that may be just as well. This is delicious, rich (thanks to copious quantities of cream cheese) and lemony, with a smooth, almost mousse-like consistency and attractive pale colour. Our favourite, by a long stretch. Made by hand by Fallon & Byrne's chefs on the premises at Exchequer Street. Excellent.
Cabot's of Westport Mackerel Smoked pâté, 170g, €3.99, 7/10
Flavoursome and salty, this has a pronounced flavour of fennel and the sharpness of lime, plus some interesting spicing. Our testers reacted positively.
Union Hall Smoked Mackerel pâté, 150g, €3.29, 6/10
Union Hall Smoked Fish is a family business run by the Nolan family in the fishing village of Union Hall, West Cork. The packaging says that 'Missus Nolan's delicious mackerel pâté has its own unique flavour... sure to melt in your mouth.' There's a slightly sweet note to the pâté, and sugar is listed as an ingredient.
Window to The Sea Smoked MackerEl pâté, 140g, €3.99, 5/10
Window to the Sea is based in Connemara and we assumed that the pâté is made there until we spotted that the ingredient list and calorie count is exactly the same as that of the Union Hall pâté - it turns out the Nolan family supply to Window to the Sea. The pâté tastes exactly the same, but is more expensive and the pack is smaller. 372 calories per 100g.
M&S Scottish Mackerel pâté, 115g, €2, 3/10
We were surprised to spot smoked salmon as one of the ingredients in this mackerel pâté from M&S. It has a grainy texture and strong fishy flavour. 285 calories per 100g.