Could you tell me how is this pâté "container" called in English?

enter image description here

Thank you :)

Edit: I am not looking for the exact name of this particular packaging. I know that water is usually sold in bottles, milk in cartons and yogurt in containers - now I need to know the name of "container" used for pâté.

  • 2
    Most Brits would probably call it a foil carton, but because that term is often used for cat food containers, I'd probably use foil tub. Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 13:53
  • 1
    @FumbleFingers - "foil tub" evokes only some 3000 Google-hits. I thought it was "tin can", but I apparently was out to lunch on this, as a non-native speaker. (0: Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 13:55
  • Tub is more usually used for a plastic container of that shape.
    – Chenmunka
    Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 14:01
  • @Chenmunka: I have no doubt there will be dozens of containers more or less that shape containing pate in the supermarkets where I live (UK SE). But my gut feel is most of them would actually be made of plastic (apart from the "peel-off" lid, which would often be thinner foil). Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 14:12
  • 3
    Tub (but not foil tub) feels about right to this New York City native. I can't think of anything else I'd call it, other than maybe just "container".
    – stangdon
    Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 14:59

2 Answers 2


Americans call a generic metal container for food a "can" whereas Brits call it a "tin". (Both are short for "tin can".) A better example of food in cans is a soup can. Sardines, also, are in cans. (Hence, Cannery Row.)

Foil is a very thin flexible metal (typically aluminum) sheet and might be used for the top of a container. (The kind that does not require a can opener to open.) It is not a very sturdy packaging choice and so the rest of the container would not typically be metal -- I see it used for the tops of plastic containers (such as for yogurt). Not being sturdy is not a problem if the food contained is perishable, and thus not expected to be stored for long. Sardines would never be stored in a foil-topped can.

The one in your picture looks squat and wide with rounded corners at the bottom, making it look more like a "tub" -- but "tubs" (for food) are usually plastic (example: margarine tub). They often have foil or plastic lids.

The glass equivalent of a can is a jar. A jar that is tapered to a small opening at the top is a bottle. You also already know about cartons.

All of these are containers, and people refer to yogurt containers because they can't quite figure out what sub-category those belong in. (It's like with "parking structure" used to refer to a multi-level above-ground garage.)

Bon appétit!


Depending on the metal used, simply enough it is an "aluminum can", "tin can", or "steel can". Probably tin. Even though it may not look like a traditional can, it is still a can. It is probably a non-standard shape for marketing/branding purposes.





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