The air pain au chocolate

<Photo of French pain au chocolat full of air>
Pictured is a pain au chocolat I recently bought at a bakery in Thônes. Isn’t it lovely the way the light reflects off that delicate, buttery pastry? Probably, but it’s hollow. Okay, it no doubt contains the same amount of pastry as a non-hollow pain au chocolat, but I swear it didn’t taste as good. Of course, that could also be because we had already driven past the better French bakery in Thônes and ended up having to go to the desperation bakery. Readers in England will understand what I mean when I say that the desperation bakery is much like Gregg’s The Bakers: the food they sell kind of fills you up, but it doesn’t taste of anything. It’s as if they fill everything with air or something.



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I’m a technical author, journalist and writer from Australia who has been living in Europe since 2000 and exploring the world from there. My passions are writing, snow sports and travel.

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7 comments on “The air pain au chocolate
  1. Ruby says:

    Totally agree with you on this one. It isn’t the same. You want to sink your teeth through lots of pastry goodness before you reach the chocolate!

    It’s much like buying a sundae from McDonalds and they’ve swirled the ice cream around the outside of the cup and left the middle empty.

  2. Lesley says:

    With you on this. The fall back bakery is always open and rarely runs out of stuff.
    I really missed Hot Cross Buns this year but I know that they would not have had quite enough spice in them.

  3. Wendy says:

    Ruby, that’s it – it’s the teeth sinking which just felt empty!
    Lesley, I was lucky enough to have a friend drop in some home-made hot cross buns. I really miss them too, and tend to gorge myself on them every time I’m back in the UK. 🙂

  4. Steph says:

    I like a nice chewy pain au choc with just a hint of crunchiness in the pastry on the outside. Nom nom.
    I’m not good at cooking with yeast so I made some hot cross scones this year ie spicy scones. Every bit as good!

  5. Pedalpusher says:

    I am a pain au chocolat obsessive and I have to say that the Greggs variant are first class.

    We got stuck one Sunday for a cafe on a cycling run and ended up in Greggs. I subsequently relayed this to a French chef (another cyclist) and he was very generous in his praise for the Greggs pain au chocolat.

    I should add that this was the only time I ever visited a Greggs and my only purchase there. I always find that I cycle and ski much better after a few pain au chocolat!

    Enjoy the blog – keep up the good work!

  6. Emily says:

    Pffft. Light & airy pain au chocolat? I hate that. {Makes for a good blog post, though!}

  7. Wendy says:

    Steph, that sounds like the perfect pain au chocolat.

    Pedalpusher, thanks – I’m glad you like my blog. You’ve given me a challenge next time I’m back in England. Everything I’ve had from that shop just tastes like pastry made with water, but I’ll make sure I try a pain au chocolat next time!

    Emily, I wondered if I’d get any comments on such a mundane whinge of a blog post, but I guess everyone has an opinion on food. 🙂

About me

Wendy Hollands writer in Annecy, France

I'm an experienced technical writer based in the French Alps. I enjoy learning French language nuances, winter sports and travel. Drop by, my other site.

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