What’s the difference between “chocolates” and “confections?” Is a “chocolatier” or chocolate shop the same as a “confectionary?”
A confectionery (also spelled confectionary) is a confectioner’s shop—more popularly called a candy store or sweet shop in modern times.
A chocolatier (a French word, pronounced cho-co-la-tee-YAY) is both the chocolate shop and the person who makes the chocolate.
While both of these words are commonly used in American chocolate circles, the French words for confectioner, confiseur, and candy shop, confiserie, are not.
So what’s a confection?
The term “confection” refers to all candies and sweets, including candy bars, candied nuts, chocolate, fudge, hard candies, licorice, lollipops, marshmallows, marzipan, nougat, mints, toffee and other products, from cotton candy and candy canes to gum drops and gummi bears.
The term applies to snack items, so any baked goods and ice cream sold at a confectionery are included in the term—even though they also repose in other categories as well.
A rose by any other name…could be an exquisite confection! Here, it’s rose-pistachio nougat from A Cozy Kitchen.
So…if chocolate is also a confection, what’s the difference between a chocolate shop and a confectioner’s shop?
A chocolatier is a chocolate specialist, and generally makes some or all of the chocolates sold on the premises.
While a chocolatier often makes marshmallows, marzipan, toffee and other confections, most of what is sold is chocolate-based or chocolate-coated.
In a confectionary, you’ll find a balance of sweets, of which only a portion is chocolates.
Discover more about chocolate in the Chocolate Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine. If you want to find the confectionery, you’ll have to look in the Candy Section and under Cookies, Cakes & Pastries.