Sunday, January 17, 2021

Creating December Map - Ourson Guimauve


We had the annual snow spritz yesterday! Bear was thrilled. 

I was thrilled to by chance land on Le Figaro’s very serious analysis of the best chocolate marshmallow bears in Paris. Perfect for the (late) December map👏

I’d sketch these bears for a Salon du chocolat post. 

1st sketches made on the bus last Saturday while doing galette des rois research

1st idea = Chocolate Bear balloons floating over a Paris skyline (thank you Pompidou) + monuments. 

7 days later and too many bears consumed KISS (keep it simple stupid) kicked in🤸🏾‍♀️.

Tourists visit Paris for fine food; wine, foie gras, 365+ fromages, tarte tatin, macarons etc.  But the French love best les bonbons de notre enfance,  l’ourson guimauve! 
Ourson means bear cub. 
Since 1962 French kids and adults have been wolfing down annually 400 million chocolate-covered marshmallow bears! 

I tasted quite a few too many of Le Figaro’s best bears this week. The ourson guimauve is a hot Christmas item. À La Mere de Famille was cleaned out completely. The bears are a high/low product. You can spend a lot of dough for bears from haute cuisine chefs like Christoph Michalek or Cyril Lignac. Or buy Cémoi bears in any supermarché for under 2 €. I love ❤️🐻 these too much. 

Personally I like the smaller bears to the giant fancy bears, which are generally of finer quality. Its a little snack.

I loved ❤️ Jeff de Bruges bears #2 on the list. 

New big discovery = Fauchon makes ourson in a gorgeous teddy tin for mail-order. 

A new marshmallow kid on the block is artisanal NWAJ popup shop in Hotel Chavenal. Guimauve is their specialty. Their bears come in many flavors including passion fruit. 

L'ourson guimauve have been around Since 1962, candy inventor, Michel Cathy got the idea. He had to fight to get it produced. Confisieur Cémoi bought the rights 40 years ago. In 2015, the bears made their French producers 900 million euros. Will you try l’ourson guimauve next trip to Paris? Your Paris map art is finished and going in the post tomorrow 
          🐻💌📮👏Stay well and safe dear PBers 🙏❤️💋🐻


  1. Will definitely try marshmallow bears on my next trip to Paris! Thanks for making our choice a little easier with your map. The Fauchon Bear tin is adorable! Paris looks beautiful with a dusting of snow. Cheers!

  2. Yummy post. Chocolate marshmallow bears remind me of the bunnies I like at Easter. I am sure not nearly as tasty.
    Sketching on a bus,remarkable! You obviously are prepared at all times. Wonder what you carry in your tote?
    Snow on the bridge railing looks like fine sugar. Paris is so beautiful.❤️❄️

  3. I don't think I would have ever thought in a million years about putting marshmallow inside chocolate (bear or otherwise) though now that I think of it, I have heard of marshmallow eggs. I think I might pass these up and just go for the truffles!

  4. GA from DeKalb - Good question. my polk-dot red tote is usually empty except for a Monoprix lightweight shopping bag, a knit hat these chilly days, a small sketchpad and drawing pen. Plus a box of Ricola mint cough drops.

    Jeanie, the point is these marshmallow bears are a French cultural phenomenon, adored from childhood to adulthood. Its interesting that what we think of as the French chocolate truffle is not a big deal here....more of an American creation! Who knew?

  5. The snow spritz photo touched me. I am a pushover for snow scenes and the lives that are lived in all those apartments fill me with wonder. As usual, thanks so much.

  6. I used to think like that when I walked Paris streets at night.
    Now I try to keep warm...chambre de bonne are always chilly on winter nights..the roof etc. Not so romantique...

  7. Marilynp12:32 PM

    The snow pictures were nice. In reality, we are having snow this weekend. Like to see it once and I am satisfied.
    Take care and looks like you are enjoying research,

  8. Despite trying to get to as many chocolate shops as possible, I've never tried the bears. I will do soon my next trip and it's perfect to bring back home to my great-grandson.

  9. I bet bear was very happy to have his chocolate before he goes into hibernation.

  10. I appreciate seeing your preparatory sketches.
    Thank you!

  11. Paris is pretty on the snow! Keep warm. I’ve never had these marshmallow bears either when in France, they sound good though. We have marshmallow covered with chocolate here in Australia, but usually just squares!

  12. Sybille1:43 AM

    Love your bear map post...adorable...and so informative...who knew chocolate covered marshmallow bears were so iconic in France? knew!

  13. Kirrabelle - if you didn’t know you wouldn’t know.
    There are lots of secret foods and food rituals the French love. They all have back stories They usually relate to childhood experiences (le bonbon des mon enfance).
    I’m still learning.

  14. So would these classify as a cozy snack? I will try when next in Paris. Fun post, thanks!

  15. I am looking forward to seeing the new map! I love chocolate covered marshmallows so I too would love these bears.

  16. I’ve stood in that very spot( in the last photo) many, many times.
    Thank you for posting.

  17. I adore seeing your drawing in progresss on tracing paper - although I must admit that I would have been 100% charmed by bears and balloons floating over Paris! What a delight!

  18. Thanks for the pick-me-up, Carol! I love les guimauves faites à la maison, with or without chocolate.

  19. You make your own marshmallow bears? I saw the molds online and they do look very easy, though it would be a dangerous thing for me to DIY
    THE BEARS GUIMAUVE! EASY and FAST recipe ttps://

  20. Now I’ll have to try them chez Jeff de Bruges

  21. Good choice Susan!
    They are small..snack size and very delish
    Why do haute cuisine think bigger is better?
    I preferred Michalek to Lignac taste-wise = more marshmallowness.
    The big size requires a knife to cut off a bite which defeats the whole snack concept.
    The big Fancy ones will deff not fit into your cup of hot chocolate either.
    Nothing like a floating bear in yr cuppa of hot chockie :))

  22. Well, that's a lot of chocolate for moi, who can't eat them. But they are adorable.BTW, I loved the Christmas window several posts ago by the Dutch artist!! And how I would love to go to a papeterie again, in one of your previous posts. Pretty paper things and stationery, that I can consume!! Oh, and the view from your window!!!

    Sounds like life is fairly normal for you, in spite of Covid. Glad you are doing well....Rita

  23. Hi Rita,
    Yes like most stay-at-home freelancers ‘Confinement’ is not a big deal. More like everyday life.
    I do miss visiting the museums terribly and the swimming pool is a major loss, but mustn’t grumble:))


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