When I lived in Paris, I would walk into my local boulangerie and order un pain au chocolat. During my year in Toulouse, I always asked for une chocolatine. Pourquoi cette différence?
As you probably know, we are talking about chocolate croissants. Pain au chocolat is the generic term in French. So why, as soon as you enter the southwest of France, does one say chocolatine?
According to one source, we have the English to thank for this. During the 15th century when the English controlled part of France, they would enter bakeries and, not speaking French, ask for “chocolate in bread please!” The French, trying to understand, retained the “chocolate in” portion, which became “chocolatine.” This term is also used in Quebec, possibly because of the region’s proximity to English speakers.
Another source asserts that chocolatine comes from a word belonging to the regional language occitan, chicolatina. Which story is correct? What do you think?
If you understand French, please see this blog post from Adrien VH. His article goes in-depth about the regions that use each term.
If you are a music fan, check out this classic French song by Joe Dassin, “Pain au chocolat”
What is your preference: pain au chocolat or chocolatine? Pourquoi?
© Jessica’s Franglais 2015