Patisserie or Boulangerie ?

As a lay man, we would just walk into a bake shop in India and buy the pastries and breads we want but if we look around, one may just notice that some shops that sell these products will have “Patisserie” written on the shop board while others will have “Boulangerie”. I often ask my students the same question, Is it a matter of personal choice or the owners prefer to call it that way?

Both these terms are French in origin( Probably the birthplace for everything sweet and in true sense the baking capital of the world). It’s known for its range of baked delicacies such as baguettes, croissants, éclairs, puffs etc. Across France you will find big and small shops that specialise in baking these scrumptious goodies, and they will have either a Boulangerie or Patisserie sign. As a matter of fact even a place such as Lonavala has a Bakeshop with the word Boulangerie on its shop board. Boulangerie and a Patisserie are two distinct entities, let’s take a look at their differences

Students often wonder what the word means, I simply say think of the word “pastry”- that’s what they specialise in. Patisseries make sugary and colourful baked and cold goods. In India, when you step into a Patisserie, you will find a variety of goodies ranging from simple to elaborate. They are exquisitely decorated

Range of Pastries
Pastries range from moderately sweet to the extent of them being soaked in sugar syrups which are extremely thick and sweet. Every time you walk into a patisserie you can choose from- Croissants, Chocolate rolls, Éclairs, Profiterole Beignets, Mille-feuille Apple pies, Brioches, Madeleines, Palmier, Macarons and more.

This place will have anything and everything that can be considered “bread”. In France alone you will find a variety of baguettes and it’s interesting to know that there are hundreds of varieties of breads made across France. You may not find all those varieties in a Boulangerie in India ( Even the star hotels have limited options) but the spread is impressive nevertheless. Mostly all Boulangeries (breads) in India who do not use preservatives sell fresh breads. Its best to consume them the day you purchase them or the day after.

Preservative or additive-Free Breads
No preservatives are used in making them. And this means, if you try to eat them later, they will simply go rock hard. Even the breads that we teach our students here, are preservatives free, and in doing so it teaches them the basics of traditional breads and a more natural process. ( So if u happen to have a home-made bread here at KIMI, consider it to be of the best quality ingredients)

Some Boulangerie (bread) Types :

  • Traditional – Breads that have been labelled as “Traditional” should not have been frozen during the manufacturing process and they contain wheat flour, yeast & salt. They are made with hand, use of machine is minimal
  • Maison – A Bread which is made on premises, is a termed as a maison.
  • Levain – Breads made from wheat/rye flours. These are naturally fermented, before being .This bread does not have any preservative either, but since its made from wheat/rye, it tends to last longer than standard breads

To sum it up, Regardless of what your preferred taste and flavour is, you are sure to find a dessert that suits your palate. So, the next time you walk past a Boulangerie or Patisserie, don’t confuse one with the other- they are two distinct entities that bake specialties. So if aromatic breads entice you head to a Boulangerie and to satisfy your sweet buds, simply walk into the nearest Patisserie. And yes, At KIMI we have it all.

Chef Jervis Gudinho
HOD- Food Production
Kohinoor International Management Institute


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