A Guide to French Chocolate


Last Updated: August 30, 2022

Follow Us Now

Are you a chocolate fanatic who may or may not have a plan to explore France’s chocolate scene soon?

French for Chocolate Lovers

Whether you simply want to learn everything about chocolates or you’re planning to trudge to French-speaking parts to sample some delicious chocolat, here is a list of chocolate-related vocabulary to help you out.Also, don’t leave this page so quickly because you’ll find really useful tips in the end of the article.

Chocolate-related Vocabulary

Un ballotinThe decorative rectangular cardboard box used for packaging chocolates. In French chocolate shops, these typically come in 125g, 250g, 375g and 500g sizes
un bonbon de chocolatbite-sized chocolate-filled confection
des tablettes de chocolatchocolate bars
des orangettesstrips of candied citrus rind dipped in chocolate
des mendiantsdisks of chocolate garnished with nuts and dried fruits
des bouchées au chocolatbigger sized filled chocolates
des guimauvesmarshmallow
une guimauve au chocolatchocolate marshmallow
un chocolat fourréfilled chocolate
une cabossefruit of cacao tree
un chocolatierA chocolate artisan or seller (could be a person or a company)
un confiseurconfectioner
une confiserieconfectionery; a candy/chocolate store
une ganachesmooth mixture of chocolate and fresh cream or butter
une ganache beurreganache soufflé; it is used to fill and frost cakes, tarts and other pastries.
un grand cru chocolatChocolate made with beans from a particular region; The Grand Cru designation signifies that the beans used in a chocolate bar all come from a certain country or region.
un palet d’orA flat, round pure ganache dark chocolate bonbon
un pralinéA confection made from ground almonds and caramelized sugar
un rocherClusters of slivered almonds, covered in chocolate
une truffeA small, rich chocolate, usually shaped into a ball
une amandeAlmond
le chocolatchocolate
le chocolat au laitmilk chocolate
le chocolat noirdark chocolate
le chocolat blancwhite chocolate
le chocolat chaudhot chocolate
la mousse au chocolatchocolate mousse
des pâtes de fruitssugar-dusted fruit jellies
des marrons glacéscandied chestnuts

Here are some useful phrases for buying chocolate:

  • Je voudrais… I would like…..
  • Je voudrais choisir quelques chocolats dans un sachet. I’d like to choose some chocolates to buy in a little bag.
  • Je voudrais un ballotin de 250 grammes, avec seulement du chocolat noir. I would like a 250/500-gram box with dark chocolate only.
  • Je voudrais un ballotin de 500 grammes, avec un mélange noir et lait. I would like a 500-gram box with a mix of dark and milk chocolates.
  • Je voudrais un ballotin de 375 grammes avec pas de chocolats alcoolisés. I would like a 375-gram box with no chocolates with liquor in them.
  • Ils sont à combien le kilo, les chocolats ? How much per kilo for the chocolates?
  • Qu’est-ce que c’est, la spécialité de la maison ? What is the house specialty?
  • Qu’est-ce que vous me conseillez ? What do you recommend?

Now here are some helpful tips in buying chocolate from French chocolate shops:

  • Take all the time you need to walk around the shop and appreciate the chocolate creations. But....
  • Always be extra careful not to touch any of the chocolates. If you must take a closer look at some packaged chocolate products, be very careful in handling them. Chocolates are very delicate, and even if they’re only slightly bruised or misshapen, the store won’t be able to sell them anymore.
  • If you can, get an assortment of filled chocolates to sample the chocolatier’s most interesting creations. You can buy either a ready-made assortment or ask to have one prepared based on your choices. But don’t feel like you have to buy a whole ballotin. Filled chocolates are sold by weight, so you can absolutely order just 4 or 5 that the shops will pack in a small bag.
  • When creating your own assortment of chocolates, specify to the shop personnel your preferences: whether you want all dark chocolate, all milk chocolate, a mix of both, or if you prefer to pass on any liquor-flavored ones.
  • Don’t overlook the plain ganache and plain praliné as these are the best products to judge the mastery of the chocolatier.
  • If you want to get plain chocolate bars, it’s best to get them from the bean-to-bar chocolatiers (those who process their own chocolate couverture from raw cacao beans). Otherwise, plain chocolate bars won’t give you a clue as to how good the chocolatier is.
  • Remember that filled chocolates are to be eaten within a week or two from purchase. Pretty sure that’s not a major problem. Right? 😉
  • If you’re looking to bring chocolates to travel back home, you should consider the studded chocolate bars which are filled with your ingredients of choice. These would be great for gifts and are better for travel.
  • Always ask for recommendations from the shop personnel. They’re experts on their own right and would be happy to help.
  • For serious chocolate lovers, find time to visit le musée gourmand du Chocolat at 28 Boulevard de Bonne Nouvelle, 75010 Paris, France. You can learn about the fascinating 4,000 years of chocolate history at the Choco-Story Museum.
  • For a list of 15 of the best chocolate shops in Paris, don’t forget to check out this article: Paris for Choco Lovers: 15 Best Chocolate Shops in Paris

Here are some FAQs about French Chocolate Words

How do you say chocolate in French?

Le chocolat !

How to make French hot chocolate?

The day starts with a hot beverage for the French, be it coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. The authentic Parisian chocolat chaud only needs two ingredients and 10 minutes. The first ingredient can be milk, water, cream, or a combination of the three, depending on what taste you want. For a strong cocoa flavour, skip the milk.

The other ingredient, naturally, is chocolate. You want bittersweet chocolate of high quality, between 50 to 70% cacao. Too little, there’s no richness. Too much, the drink will become bitter. You can make your chocolat chaud from top-quality dark chocolate bars, Valrhona, Van Houten, and Lindt to name a few.

What brand of chocolate is French?

A few French chocolate brands you may know include La Maison du Chocolat, Richart, and Valrhona. Other famous chocolate making companies include Cacao Barry Chocolate, Michel Cluizel Chocolate, and Chocolate Bonnat.

What is the most popular chocolate in France?

Some popular chocolate brands include Nestlé, Côte d’Or, and Milka. You can also follow our helpful tips when exploring French chocolate shops on your own. If you’re in Paris, check out our top pick of chocolate shops for choco lovers on Talk in French!

About the author 

Frederic Bibard is the founder of Talk in French, a company that helps french learners to practice and improve their french. Macaron addict. Jacques Audiard fan. You can contact him on Instagram

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}