A bonbon is a small chocolate confection. They are usually filled with liqueur or other sweet alcoholic ingredients, and sold wrapped in coloured foil.[1]

Mary's chocates gift box, made in Japan.jpg
Box of bonbons
Alternative namesBon-bon
Place of originFrance


Through the Western world, bonbons are usually small candies but vary by region in their ingredients, flavours, and shape.[2] In France, bonbons have been made with a fruit centre, and may contain brittle, nougat, dragée, or caramel.[2] Other possible fillings include butterscotch, fondant, fudge, ganache, gianduja, marzipan, praline, and truffle.[3]

According to French law, a bonbon de chocolat must be at least 25% chocolate and can come in several forms:

  • a bite-sized chocolate;
  • an arrangement of different chocolates;
  • a mixture of chocolate and other edible ingredients.[4]

Specifically in the United States, the phrase "Bon Bon" refers to The Hershey Company's trademarked name for a frozen confection made from vanilla ice cream and covered in chocolate.[2]

Etymology and historyEdit

The word "bonbon" arose from the reduplication of the word bon, meaning "good" in the French language. Its use originated in the seventeenth century within the French royal court and spread to other European countries by the eighteenth century. Bonbons began to be served in ornate containers by the middle of the eighteenth century, which would be given as gifts at festivals and on holidays such as New Year's Day.[2]

Johann Strauss II wrote the waltz Wiener Bonbons in 1866. The title page shows the composition's name in the form of twisted bonbon wrappers.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "cioccolatino in Vocabolario". Treccani (in Italian).
  2. ^ a b c d e Goldstein, Darra; Krondl, Michael; Heinzelmann, Ursula; Mason, Laura; Quinzio, Geraldine & Rath, Eric, eds. (2015). The Oxford companion to sugar and sweets. Oxford University Press. p. 69. ISBN 9780199313396.
  3. ^ Coady, Chantal (1998). "Estilos de chocolate". O Guia do Chocolate (in Brazilian Portuguese). Livros e Livros. pp. 23–29. ISBN 9789728418335.
  4. ^ "Décret n°76-692 du 13 juillet 1976 pris pour l'application de la loi du 1er août 1905 sur la répression des fraudes dans la vente des marchandises et des falsifications des denrées alimentaires, en ce qui concerne les produits de cacao et de chocolat destinés à l'alimentation humaine - Article Annexe". legifrance.gouv.fr (in French).