Pain au chocolat vs chocolatine: the French pastry battle

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Pain au chocolat vs chocolatine! Who said food wasn’t a serious topic? Not the French! And when it comes to viennoiserie (a type of pastry), it can even become political! You’ll soon know what happened!

How do you call this in French? There are clearly two camps in France the Pain au chocolat vs chocolatine! A three-round fight to see which one wins!

This even can be a dangerous fight and it even went up to the Assemblée Génerale, the French parliament! This shows how serious the chocolate croissant is in France!

If you want to avoid a fight, stick around to know more about this incredible debate between the Pain au chocolat versus the chocolatine!

Let’s start!

Pain au chocolat vs chocolatine Round #1: The regional fight!

Did you actually know there were two words for this delicious French pastry?

But what’s the difference? When you look at this map we understand this is a regional debate here.

There is one part of France that says Chocolatine!

Clearly the Southwest of France: where the regional language called Occitan was spoken.

So if you go to Toulouse or even Bordeaux, many people will eat chocolatine and not a pain au chocolat! But don’t worry we are all talking about this same lovely chocolate croissant made with puff pastry, butter and two chocolate sticks in its centre!

But when you look a bit closer. You realise that only 60% of the people use chocolatine in Nouvelle Aquitaine, the region of Bordeaux, the northern part of the southwest of France and less than 50% in the Occitanie region, around Toulouse.

Chocolatine 0 – Pain au chocolat 1

Pain au chocolat vs chocolatine Round #2: The political fight!

In 2018, the pain au chocolat vs chocolatine fight reached the highest sphere of power in France, when several deputies presented an amendment to protect the use of the word Chocolatine, clearly overtaken by the Pain au chocolat clan! 

No luck, the amendment ended up being turned down.

But it still reached the attention of our President Macron when the debate took over Elysée’s kitchen. You see how sensitive this question is! The French don’t joke about pastries!

Chocolatine 0 – Pain au chocolat 2

Pain au chocolat vs chocolatine Round #3: The linguistic debate

The real debate is more a linguistic one than a culinary one! With the eternal linguistic rivalry between the French regions.

And going back in time helps you understand where the word chocolatine comes from.

This viennoiserie was actually invented in the 19th century by the Austrian baker August Zang and he exported it to France, where it was a success. It was called “Schokoladen Croissant“. But it seems that with the Austrian accent, the sound was actually very similar to the southwest of France Chocolatine.

Chocolatine 1 – Pain au chocolat 2

And the winner is…

Even though the southerners have some serious grounds here, there are still 84% of the French people, according to the Baker’s union, using the word pain au chocolat and even in the South West of France, the word pain au chocolat is used!

So the Pain au chocolat clan wins!!!!

But at the end of the day, both are correct, the pain au chocolat or chocolatine!  The only thing that matters is if it is good! Can you guess which one is my clan?

More French culinary posts:

My Grandma’s Tarte Tatin‘s recipe

The typical French breakfast: choose your team!

The essential guide to surviving a French meal

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