What is a bon bon or bonbon?


by Anthony · Updated Jan 26, 2024 · 3 min read

Have you ever asked yourself what exactly is a real bon bon candy?

I am a trained French chef from Le Cordon Bleu Paris and I will tell you everything you need to know about chocolate bonbons!

Table of content

  • Is it bon bon or bonbon?

First of all, let's make sure you know how to spell and pronounce bonbons like a real French. It is bonbon (not bon bon).

It is hard to pronounce it in English, because you tend to pronounce every letter, which is not the case in French. That's probably why French is such a complicated language!

The best way to put it is to pronounce [BON]-[BON] doing an "O" with your mouth, and coming from your throat. It is a sound that most English don't use daily.

  • What is a bon bon or bonbon?

Infography of what is a chocolate bonbon

You now know we spell it bonbon, not bon bon. But what is a real chocolate French bonbon?

Before to dig in, we can't talk about French bonbons before to talk about chocolate. Let's do a quick history recap history.

According to my research, cocoa beans were first used by the Mayans. Christopher Columbus was the first European to find out about cocoa in 1502.

1528 was the first time ever a European actually tastes cocoa in Spain: it was Emperor Charles Quint. it was used in beverages.

France discovered cocoa under king Louis XIII (Louis the 13th) in 1659. French did used it like the Spanish in beverage, but also started to eat it as a solid candy.

In the 1700s, France revolutionized industrial processes hydraulic machines, and chocolate were able to be manufactured in bulk.

In the end of the 1800s, the first bonbons were born in France! Bonbon means "candy" in French. At the time, it was handcrafted as balls, with added decoration as signature.

Today, a bonbon designate a French chocolate candy which is round on top, flat at the bottom.

The outside shell is harder and made of chocolate, with few decorations. Inside is a softer filling. The ganache can be made of anything from salted caramel, Pistachio paste, and much more.

  • Truffles vs Bonbons: Which is what?

Chocolate truffles vs bonbons

First things first, a chocolate truffle is NOT a "truffle". By definition, a truffle is a type of mushroom. A chocolate truffle is handcrafted with chocolate.

Chocolate truffles were created in 1895 in Chambéry, France, by Louis Dufour. He called it "truffle" or "truffe" in French, because it actually looks like a real mushroom truffle.

But what is the actual difference between truffles and bonbons?

Chocolate truffles vs bonbons

In this infography, you can clearly see how truffles compare with bonbons. Yes, they are mostly made with chocolate as the main ingredient.

But the feel and look is quite different. A chocolate truffle is traditionally round like a ball and covered with cocoa powder. Its decoration is also basic.

Bonbons are colorful, shiny, and flat on their bottom.

  • How much do chocolate bonbons cost?

Chocolates bonbons are quite expensive. My research shows that it costs an average of $3.5 each, and this is without shipping.

You don't find great bon bon shops in every street corner of every state. So shipping is a must for a great bakery.

At Pastreez we ship authentic French macarons to your door in the US. I expect the same delivery service for bonbons!

The current panel online charge expensive shipping rate. Bonbonbon is an online bakery and shipping is... $40+. Insane.

Stick with me chocolate bon bons

 Another good chocolatier I wanted to share is Stick with me bakery. A box of 6 pieces of chocolate bonbons is $25 ($4.2 each!) and shipping is $30. Total is $55 for 6 bonbons to your door.. that is too expensive.

Even though I recognize the craftsmanship and effort to make bonbons, being French chefs from Le Cordon Bleu Paris, I know it can be charged less. Especially shipping.

Pastreez might even start making bonbons and charge a fair price to ship nationwide!

1 comment

  • Stu Marks

    Great article. Well written and very informative. I arrived here by asking Siri, “Who invented the chocolate bonbon? 4th hit.

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