This is a list of notable food pastes. A food paste is a semi-liquid colloidal suspension, emulsion, or aggregation used in food preparation or eaten directly as a spread. Pastes are often spicy or aromatic, prepared well in advance of actual usage, and are often made into a preserve for future use. Common pastes are curry pastes, fish pastes, some fruit preserves, legume pastes and nut pastes. Purées, however, are food pastes made from already cooked ingredients, as in the case of cauliflower purée, or raw, as in the case of apple purée.
Fish and seafood
A tub of uncured fish surimi
ready for finish-processing
- Muria – concentrated garum (fermented fish sauce) evaporated down to a thick paste with salt crystals was called muria; it would have been rich in protein, amino acids, minerals and B vitamins.
- Pissalat – French condiment made from anchovies
- Prahok – Cambodian salted and fermented fish paste
- Shrimp paste – made from fermented ground shrimp, either from fresh shrimp or dried ones, with the addition of salt. Prepared shrimp paste often has oil, sugar, garlic, chili, and other spices added.
- Surimi – refers to a paste made from fish or other meat and also refers to a number of Asian foods that use surimi as their primary ingredients
Fruit and vegetable
- Àmàlà – a Nigerian specialty paste made using yams, it is thick and brown
- Baba ghanoush – an eggplant (aubergine) based paste
- Date paste – used as a pastry filling
- Funge de bombo – a manioc paste used in northern Angola, and elsewhere in Africa
- Guava paste
- Hilbet – a paste made in Ethiopia and Eritrea from legumes, mainly lentils or faba beans, with garlic, ginger and spices
- Hummus – made from chickpeas with the addition of tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic
- Quince cheese
- Ssamjang – a Korean sesame- and bean-based paste used as a sauce on meat
- Tapenade – made from olives ground with anchovies or capers, spices and olive oil
- Tomato paste – made from boiling tomatoes until they form a thick paste which is stored for later use in soups, sauces and stews
- Millet paste – consumed by the Fula people in the Sahel and West Africa, it is a main ingredient in nyiiri, a common Fula dish that is prepared using millet paste and a thick sauce
- Pamonha – a traditional Brazilian paste made from fresh corn and milk
- Mealy pop or bogobe – prepared from ground grain, usually maize or millet, and often fermented before cooking
Erbswurst is a traditional instant pea soup
from Germany in a condensed paste
Nut and seed
Spices and herbs
Yeast extracts, usually as byproduct from brewing beer, are made into food pastes, usually dark-brown in color.