One of the most well-known viennoiserie in France, second only to the croissant, is undoubtedly the Pain au chocolat, also known as the chocolatine – the never-ending debate amongst French with this pastry-name that made this iconic viennoiserie much more special than others!

French cuisine is well-known for their pastry or viennoiserie with multiple kinds of baked goods. Alongside with croissants, pain au chocolat is the most ordered breakfast item. It is a type of sweet pastry consisting of a cuboid-shaped piece of yeast-leavened laminated dough, similar in texture to a puff pastry, with one or two pieces of dark chocolate in the centre. Pain au chocolat is made of the same layered dough as a croissant, often sold still hot or warm from the oven, and paired with coffee eaten at breakfast or as snacks. 

When ordering the French puff pastry with chocolate inside, the great majority of French people, as well as visitors visiting the nation, use the phrase “pain au chocolat.” However, in the southwest part of France, it is known as “chocolatine” and is regarded as a source of regional pride.

What exactly is the difference?

The problem is, there isn’t any! Both names relate to the same thing: a wonderful croissant dough filled with two dark chocolate sticks, which can be purchased for approximately 1€ (25,000 VND).

This delicacy’s name varies depending on the area of France you live in. That’s why the way you call pain au chocolat or chocolatine will reflect your origins. 

The words “petit pain au chocolat” (the little chocolate pastry) is used in Northern France (Hauts-de-France and Alsace). In central France, in most southern France and in Paris, “pain au chocolat” is used. In southwestern France (Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Occitanie) and in Quebec, the word chocolatine is used.

What about other countries?

In Belgium, the French-speaking country, the words “couque au chocolat” are also used. Other nations, such as Spain, call it “napolitanas de chocolate”. But France can never reach a consensus on this hugely divisive topic. There is one thing everyone in the country can agree on: it is NOT named a chocolate croissant.

To enjoy the renowned pain au chocolat, you can either buy ready-made viennoiseries from the famous La Boulangere or head to Annam Gourmet’s central kitchen, which also offers delicious homemade French pastries like passion fruits Eclair, cat tongue cookies, and colorful macarons.