MPs to debate pain au chocolat vs chocolatine

The MPs are demanding that the rural and fisherie code, le code rural et de la pêche, “value the working title and the reputation of products”. “For example, this would be the case for the chocolate pastry whose name has historically been rooted in the Gascon region, and which is the pride of all of southern France: the chocolatine,” argued Aurélien Pradié, an MP from the southwest Lot department, who is backing theamendment. “This is not just a chocolatine amendment. It’s an amendment that aims to protect popular expressions that give value to culinary expertise.”

A website created in 2017 surveyed the country in an attempt to settle the age-old debate once and for all: of the 110,000 people surveyed 59.8% say pain au chocolat and 40.2% say chocolatine, but theresults highlighted the regional disparity. Those in the south-west of France almost all use chocolatine, with the remainder of the country opting for pain au chocolat. With linguistic battle lines drawn up, Bugle readers find themselves on the front line. In the Creuse and Haute-Vienne, the vast majority favour the term pain au chocolat, but in Corrèze and Dordogne, well over 90% of those surveyed prefer a chocolatine.

Where the name itself comes from has also been the source of much debate. Oneenjoyable (but probably false) theory is that it originated fom the period of English rule over France’s Aquitaine region in the 15th century. The English wouldwalk into bakeries and ask for “chocolate in bread” which the French understood as,simply, “chocolate in”. This theory has been disputed, however, mostly due to the fact that chocolate did not arrive in Europe until 1528!

It is a debate that has raged across France for decades, if not centuries…what do you call the chocolate-filled pastries so common in the country’s bakeries? Most expats will probably answer pain au chocolat, the term we tend to hear when first learning the language. Much of the country would disagree, however, and vocally insist
that the pastry is in fact a chocolatine. The argument has now reached the country’s parliament as ten Les Républicains MPs have tabled a change in the law to favour the use of chocolatine. The proposed amendment to the Agriculture and Food laws would promote the use of the term which is widely employed across the southwest and west of the country.

 

Source/Credit: THE BUGLE, June 2018

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