Pastry and confectionery

Pastry is the art of making cakes and desserts with sophisticated ingredients, techniques and resources. It also refers to the place where these products are made and sold.

The confectionery is the preparation of cakes, desserts or traditional sweet dishes, with daily or seasonal ingredients, and that does not require technical or professional training to prepare them.

The difference between pastry and confectionery has to do with the origin of the terms, the responsibilities of those who exercise these trades and the complexity of the preparations.

Cake shopCake shop
DefinitionCreation of desserts and sweet dishes using modern ingredients and techniques.Creation of desserts from traditional or homemade recipes.
OriginFrance, 15th centuryOrigin uncertain.

  • Pastry chefs were considered masters of a trade.
  • Use of sophisticated techniques.
  • Pastry chefs work in pastry shops, bakeries, restaurants, banquet halls, etc.
  • A pastry shop is also the name of the place where sweets are prepared or sold.

  • Bakers were considered artisans.
  • Use of homemade techniques.
  • Bakers usually work from home or from their own premises.
Type of trainingFormal.Informal.
ExamplesMacarons, wedding cakes, desserts for formal events.Cupcakes , homemade cakes, puddings.

What is pastry?

Pastry is a branch of the kitchen dedicated to the preparation of desserts and sweet dishes, according to certain techniques.

The term pastry first appeared around 1440, in France. Until that moment, those who were in charge of preparing sweet dishes were called pastry chefs, but this new term, created by the chefs of the time, served to distinguish the formal kitchen from that dedicated exclusively to the desserts that were served at the end of eating.

A century later, during the reign of Charles IX, the “pastry chefs corporation” was created in France, the first institution dedicated to the regulation of the guild, as well as to the formal education of pastry chefs. From there arose the first teachers of this trade.

With the passage of time, the pastry shop not only served to highlight a new branch of the kitchen, but it also began to be used to designate the area where the desserts were made.

Finally, establishments selling sweet dishes were called pastry shops, with a certain level of complexity and with a special emphasis on their decoration.

Today, pastry is a profession in which modern techniques are taught for the creation of cakes, doughs, dishes and sweet desserts. Pastry chefs generally go to great lengths to incorporate sophisticated ingredients, tools or recipes, which for many elevates their work to the level of an artistic branch.

What is pastry?

Pastry is the preparation of sweet dishes and doughs, generally based on traditional recipes.

The word pastry does not have a clear origin, but it is known that it was used long before the term pastry shop, and referred to the place where some provisions were kept, many of them necessary to make sweet cakes.

Then, the pastry chef was the person in charge of looking after said furniture and the merchandise that was stored there.

It is believed that, since they were very long hours, the confectioners began to experiment with the provisions that they had to protect: nuts, honey, flour. From there, the first sweet doughs emerged, establishing an association between the pastry chef and the preparation of desserts.

Over time, pastry chefs – who by the nature of their work were almost always in the service of royalty – specialized in this type of preparation, reaching the degree of artisans. And that’s how many of them started founding their own candy stores.

Nowadays, pastry chefs are often called those who make desserts, doughs and sweet preparations with traditional recipes, and who generally learned in a self-taught way.

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