According to legend, when Maria Teresa, Spanish Infanta, married King Louis the 14th in 1660, she brought with her cacao beans and a servant, La Molina who specialized in making hot chocolate. The princess enjoyed her daily dose of whipped hot chocolate so much, that it soon became all the rage in the French Court. La Molina became so busy that she was instructed to teach others the art of hot chocolate. One day a clever young apprentice, thought to serve the whipped hot chocolate cooled and molded into bite size morsels. The treats were so delicious that they were not just deemed bon (good) but bon bon (doubly good).
Since then bon bon has expanded in meaning to most candies, but the truest form of the bon bon exists today in the form of chocolates or chocolate truffles. However, some argue that bon bons can be any shape and contain any filling, while truffles are filled with ganache and are only spherical. Others argue that bon bons include all candies and sweets, period.
The culture of giving and receiving bon bons is a little more straightforward. It is appropriate to give bon bons for all types of celebrations and holidays. Bon bons are very versatile in their meaning and the symbolism of the bon bon giver’s intentions automatically morphs for the occasion. Bon bons are the perfect hostess gift to take a to a dinner party, even if the hostess does not like chocolates she can add them to the dessert offerings and share them with her other guests. Bon bons are also work well to cheer those up who are going through a crisis.
When receiving bon bons, the most generous approach is to immediately open the packaging and share the treats with the giver, but it is also appropriate to simply say thank you and save them for later. Bon bons can be given and received by friends, family members, and lovers as they will take on the meaning of the moment rather than instill their own meaning.
Bon bons often come in elegant paper boxes with little liners wrapping and protecting each treat. They might have sprinkles, chopped nuts, or other edible flair on the outside of the chocolate shell. They might be sold individually or by the dozen depending on the chocolatier, but they will always be delicious.