Taste test Chicken Liver Pate
Taste Test is going seasonal, planning ahead for the festive feasting. First up is chicken liver pate: handy to have in the fridge for a quick lunch with toasted sourdough, or instant canapés for unexpected visitors.
The Butler's Pantry Chicken Liver Pate, Brandy & Port, 180g, €4.95, 9/10
Made by hand in The Butler's Pantry's own kitchen in Bray, Co Wicklow, from a concise list of ingredients, and without additives or preservatives, this has great flavour.
Dunnes Stores Simply Better Irish Handmade Free Range Chicken Liver Pate, 180g, €4.50, 9/10
This pate from the Dunnes Stores Simply Better range is another winner, with great gutsy flavour, nice texture and bonus points for using free-range chicken livers. Made for Dunnes by Zanna Cookhouse in Co Wexford.
Lotts & Co Chicken Liver Pate, no weight given, €4.25, 6/10
This handmade Irish pate features chicken livers, butter, brandy, shallots, port, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. The flavours, particularly the thyme, are strong - it's not for the faint-hearted - and the colour very dark. Our testers were divided.
On The Pig's Back Chicken Liver Pate with Garlic and Brandy, 150g, €3.90, 4/10
On The Pig's Back will be familiar to visitors to the English Market in Cork, and it's a company with a fine reputation as an artisan producer. There's a nice short list of good ingredients, but our testers found the pinkish colour alarming and didn't like the grainy texture. Very salty.
Kinsale Bay Chicken Liver Pate, 120g, €2.23, 3/10
Handmade in Cork with red wine rather than brandy. Our testers found it bland and the grey colour visually unappealing.
Marks & Spencer Chicken Liver Pate, 170g, €2, 1/10
The M&S chicken liver pate is made with Madeira wine, and has an alarming pink colour and unpleasant flavour.