French Presidential hopeful Jean-François Copé landed himself in the heat of the patisserie yesterday, as he admitted he had no idea of the price of a pain au chocolat.
He thought the popular breakfast pastry cost the average French voter “around 10 or 15 centimes”.
In fact, they usually retail for around €1.50- €2.
So which decade is Mr Copé living in?
It may not be as far back as when fellow French food fan Marie Antoinette told peasants to “eat cake”, but it’s certainly not 2016 either.
According to “some records,”: http://france-inflation.com/prix_du_pain_depuis_1900_en_france.php a simple baguette would have set the average French person back around €0.07 in 1965.
As there are no figures specifically available for pain au chocolat, one must therefore look at how much a baguette is today. That’s around €0.90.
With the price differences taken into account, it could be suggested that Jean-Francois was indeed correct in his estimation, he was just about 50 years behind.
It’s also fair to say that Copé would have been relatively accurate if he were talking about buying the pastries in bulk, from a cash and carry like Metro.
But unfortunately Copé scuppered that particular excuse, by tweeting that the reason he did not know the answer is because he is “very careful about my figure… so to tell you the truth, I haven’t eaten ‘chocolatines’ for a long time”. Alongside a picture of fruit and vegetables. Of course.
Le Pen au Chocolat
This is not the first time Copé has ruffled puff pastry with claims about “les chocolatines”.
In 2012 he claimed that French children were having their pain au chocolat grabbed by “yobs who said that one doesn’t eat during Ramadan”. This led to the unfortunate nickname “le Pen au chocolat”, after French far-right politicians Jean-Marie and Marine Le Pen, leaders of the Front National since its inception in 1972.
Copé, a former finance minister, will be one of 11 challengers to ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy for the nomination of Les Républicains.