The pros: Trader Joe’s Truffle Mousse Pate is a truly unique product that will have its raving fans. For those with a curious palate and not a big wallet, it’s a neat item to try.
The cons: This is neither a taste nor texture that everyone will appreciate. If you’ve been curious about pate and can stomach the flavor of truffle, this is a well made one to reach for. Pate is not diet food, so don’t be surprised by the calorie count.
The verdict: When I hear the word Pate, my mind immediate jumps to the last thing I fed my cat, Gary. I frequently associate the look of pate with cat food. I have a funny feeling that I am probably not alone in thinking this. Organ meat tends to be associated with a few things in American culture: pet food, gravy, or perhaps the relative who forgot to remove the organs from a holiday roast.
Now, despite the fact this is about as attractive as my cat’s last meal, I can tell you for a fact it smells so much better. Now, this is in no way something that everyone should go out and try. This is neither a taste nor texture that will have universal appeal. If you can get past the visual appearance of this loaf of organ meat, you may find something beyond your everyday culinary horizons.
Now, this pate will spread almost as smooth as butter and has an almost perfectly smooth velvety texture in terms of tasting. There is a small bit of gelatin at the bottom which will cleanse your palate slightly. You’ll want to eat this with something. I opted for Trader Joe’s Brioche Toasts. I figured they were French and would go well with this American-made French cuisine. If you want other ideas on how else you could serve it, then check out this article on how to creatively consume this item.
In terms of taste, some flavors are more assertive than others. Yes, the truffles and mushroom flavors are present. Truffle on its own is a love it or hate it food item. I know plenty of people who can’t stand the earthy flavor present. The sherry wine manages to come through far more than the Brandy Aspic which was that gelantious stuff at the bottom (or on the top when you first open it). And yes, there is that familiar meaty and musky taste of chicken livers. The added chicken fat just adds to the mouthfeel here.
Now, I’ve had pate before. I’ve had it at a restaurant called Kindred Fare in Upstate New York and I’ve had a friend of mine make a Foie Gras dip. And while I loved both of those pates, I also really liked this too. It wasn’t as refined or as delicious as either. The pates that I have tried out or at a friends house were not cheap. Instead of spending somewhere near $20, this is priced just under $5. For that price point, I’m happy to make some compromises. Throw in the earthy and expensive ingredient of truffle, then this is a bargain albeit less refined than pricier pates.
For $4.99 if you’ve ever been curious enough to want to try it, then this is priced right. If you can stomach the idea of eating truffles and pate (or at least willing to give it a go), then this is something worth picking up. It can be frozen in case you don’t get a chance to eat it all. This one small loaf could easily serve a small party. So don’t let its small size fool you. As an added bonus, this has been a long running item on Trader Joe’s shelves which probably means this has a pretty good fan base to it.
Here is the visual run down of what you get if you buy this product:
The package of Trader Joe’s Truffle Mousse Pate:
The nutritional information and ingredients. Yes, you can freeze this if necessary:
How Trader Joe’s describes how to handle this product:
Out of the mold, plated and next to some of Trader Joe’s Brioche Toasts which happen to be the perfect size for each of these slices :
Up close and spread on one of those brioche toasts:
Would I buy this again? Yes, I would buy Trader Joe’s Truffle Mousse Pate again. This is not a taste that is going to appeal to everyone. If the taste or sound of truffle makes your stomach turn, then steer clear. Otherwise, if you’ve been curious about pate, then consider this the most affordable way of giving it a whirl. I’m a fan of truffle and this was the most affordable pate I’ve tried.
Want to see more items I’ve reviewed from Trader Joe’s? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for a searchable list.
Did you try it? Let me know what you think in the comments section!