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The Difference Between Bonbons and Truffles

bonbons and truffles on a counter

Many people mistakenly use the terms “bonbon” and “truffle” interchangeably. While the two treats share many characteristics, they are, in fact, different from one another. What is the difference between bonbons and truffles, and why do so many people confuse them?

What is a Bonbon?

A chocolate bonbon refers to a smooth, molded chocolate filled with nougat, dried fruit, flavored cream, etc. While bonbons are crafted from cacao, the idea is to balance the creamy, indulgent flavor of the chocolate with a complementary ingredient. Most people assume bonbons can be filled with chocolate as well, but technically speaking, a “chocolate-filled bonbon” is not really a bonbon at all. To be classified as a true bonbon, the center must be filled with something else.

The word “bonbon” originates from the French word for “good,” which is “bon.” In fact, we have France to thank for the slightly confusing terminology, but more on that in a moment!

What is a Truffle?

A truffle is similar to a bonbon in that the outer chocolate coating hides a delicious center. However, a truffle usually features a chocolate ganache filling, rather than one of fruit or nuts. A ganache is a rich sauce or glaze, typically smooth and sweet.

Additionally, while bonbons come in many sizes and even shapes, a truffle is usually circular. After forming their truffles, most chocolatiers roll them in a light dusting of cocoa powder or nuts. Both truffles and bonbons are indulgent and creamy, but truffles typically place the entire spotlight on chocolate. Bonbons prefer to share the spotlight between multiple flavors.

Unlike the bonbon, truffles received their name due to their visual similarity to the truffle fungus. The truffle fungus is round, like a mushroom, and is often used in fine cooking. Although chocolate truffles do not taste like mushrooms, their rounded shape and delicacy earned them the title.

A Confusing French History

Perhaps the most common reason people confuse bonbons and truffles is that when bonbons originated in France, there was not a clear definition for them. In fact, the word “bonbon” first referred to any type of candy at all. “Chocolate bonbons” referred to those of the chocolate variety. 17th-century French bonbons were filled with a variety of delicious ingredients, including both nougat and ganache.

Later, when professional chocolatiers sprouted in other countries, a new variety of “chocolate bonbon” showed up that was filled with ganache only. This is what we recognize today as being a chocolate truffle. While using the correct terminology gets everyone on the same page, one thing is for sure: no matter which treat you end up with, you are sure to enjoy it.

What Do We Serve at Sanaa Chocolates?

At Sanaa Chocolates, we are pleased to offer a variety of beautiful, high-quality bonbons filled with countless indulgent flavors. We source our ingredients both locally and ethically and love combining decadent flavors with stunning artwork.

Chocolate is our passion, and we want to share our passion with you! Learn more about our business here or shop our wide variety of bonbons. If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to call us today.

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