Trying to match the delicate pale colors of French guimauve (or what we call marshmallows) is not nearly as easy as eating them.
As someone with a long history of roasting marshmallows while my parents were out of the house, I assumed I'd some background knowledge of guimauve. This proved not to be the case at all.
Let the leçon begin students.
The only appropriate schoolroom is at Le Bonbon au Palais at 19, rue Monge 75005 Metro;Cardinal Lemoine.
No other site in Paris offers the variety of guimauve. I checked. And you can buy just one piece if you're unsure about making a commitment just like when you were a kid at your local candy store.
Professor Georges is in deep contemplation preparing the lesson...
The traditional Chamalow found in most shops are from Arnaud Soubeyran in Montelimar. You can find them in the US too. On the right, Guimauve fantasie (meaning faux or fake) from Montpelier. Both are made (horrors - industriale) by machine in a kind of taffy-like fashion. They have about 10% egg white in them and tend to be seche or dry and elastic. I rather like them since they remind me of the chewy Campfire marshmallows of my childhood though none came in framboise or citron flavors...
Georges handles each guimauve rope like it was a precious strand of pearls. I could use a drawer full of these...
These pillowy big squares have no animal gelatin in them so are perfect for vegetarians. And they have no whites of egg either or blanc d'oeuf (which sounds like 'blond-Ouf' to me when Georges says it).
These even bigger squares are made with a new special artisanale technique from Pascal Jeanblanc, Toulouse. They are beaten to a fair thee well (by hand of course...) till a huge bubble thing forms. So they are much more airy in texture (nothing like my crisped, blackened marshmallows but the flavors are intense and not overwhelmingly sugary with flavors like banane, coco, framboise, poire, citron, chocolat, vanilla, rose, cerise, fleur d'oranger.
And as mentioned you can buy just one and try it.
These are cutup versions of the strips
I felt I should check out a few other candy shops in town...
I always love La Mere du Famille. This branch is on rue Montorgeuil.
They just have the strip version tied up in knots. They have many other traditional regional French candies as well...
Patisserie Ble Sucre is back from summer hols and open. Hooray! when I spotted squares of guimauve I asked where they were from. The chef was standing by and announced, all their candies are made on site a la maison. Ooopla. These were of the airy, fluffy variety by the way. I got a pack of fleur d'orange (5 euros).
Here is my haul or rather this was my haul. Most of it has disappeared...hmmm.
Georges happily gift-wrapping someone's candies. This year's Salon du Chocolat (end of October) will have an annex with all the French confisieurs separate and Georges is in charge. I attempted to roast one of the small elastic guimauve but it tasted like Franprix matches. Ugh. Much better to go with the real thing unroasted.