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  • Writer's pictureMegan Lawrence

Chocolate Croissants: The Italian VS French Experience

By Megan Lawrence

From the tens of hundreds of pastries I have eaten in my life, there has always been one that has stood out to me; chocolate croissants. After living in Italy for a few months I have gotten extremely used to the flat, not so flaky, croissants of Rome. Last weekend, I traveled to Paris, France, where it is my dream to study pastry arts one day, so I was extremely excited to try as many as possible, especially chocolate croissants. After trying both European croissants, I began to wonder how the same basic pastry can be so different despite sharing the same basic ingredients. In this article I will break down what makes the chocolate croissants of France and Italy so special, and different.

In Italy, “croissants” as they are traditionally known to us are called “cornetti” and tend to have a soft spongy consistency. The all-around form of the croissant is usually more boxy than the traditional crescent shape and the outside is usually plain or topped with chocolate pieces. Additionally chocolate croissants in Italy do not tend to be filled with classic bakers chocolate, but instead often have nutella! In France the chocolate croissants, also known as pain au chocolat, are flaky and buttery, due to the puffy pastry used laced with layers of butter between each flake. The croissants in France also have the boxy shape but are usually decorated with a chocolate lace design or are kept simple (as pictured below).

A pain au chocolat enjoyed warm from a bakery on Rue Mouffetard in Paris, France

A fagottino cioccolato from a pasticceria in Rome, Italy

The French and Italian croissants are loved by many across the world, and when you see one in a café, I highly recommend trying both. Below I linked a few bakeries in Rome that I recommend trying for yourself for Italian and French croissants and pastries.

French bakeries

Italian bakeries

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