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THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

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PRODUCT REVIEW: Patchwork Pâté

Patchwork Pâté is a successful Welsh country artisan product that has taken root in the U.S., where it is made carefully following the original recipes. The result: a delicious line of chicken liver-based pâtés with enough variety of flavorings to make every day a pâté day.

In 1982, Welsh housewife Margaret Carter found herself divorced with three children to look after. With no formal training, she attempted what many talented home cooks do: She made one of her special recipes to sell locally. With startup savings of just £9.00, she began selling her homemade pâtés to pubs in Llangollen, a town nestled in the beautiful Dee Valley in northeast Wales. Few Americans know Llangollen, but it is known as the Festival Capital of Wales (music, food, balloon and fringe festivals) and the horse-drawn boat ride on the Llangollen Canal is one of the oldest attractions in the country. The River Dee, which flows through town, is the most sacred Celtic River in Western Europe. According to Arthurian legend, the Fisher King, guardian of the Holy Grail, fished its deep flowing waters.

  Patchwork Pâté is an everyday indulgence. Photography by Claire Freierman.
But the town may become known as the birthplace of Patchwork Pâté. What started in Patchwork Pate her kitchen, in a Victorian shooting lodge on a hillside, has become a thriving international specialty food business, selling in the U.S., Hong Kong and Japan. The £9.00 investment is now generating £2.2 million a year. Two of Margaret’s children, Marcus and Rufus Carter, now run the company. The kitchen has become a 10,000-square foot facility in North Wales; in the U.K., Patchwork Pâté also sells savory tarts, quiches and pies. The company has won numerous awards for its pâtés, terrines, savories and desserts, including Wales’ True Taste awards. Despite scaling up, everything is made the way Margaret originally cooked it, by hand in small batches.

Not every artisan food maker reaches such heights, but Americans are fortunate that, at the Fancy Food Show three years ago, Patchwork Pâté was discovered. Now the recipes are made in Pennsylvania and distributed nationwide. You can tell from the first bite that, as in the U.K., only the best ingredients are used, including lots of fresh herbs. The pâtés are made in small batches without preservatives or additives. Read the full review on

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