Note that this is from a trip I made to Paris just before the pandemic started.
If you visit France, you will be introduced to a different kind of marshmallow: the guimauve. It is so very French, so elegant, and sophisticated. Unlike its dense and overly sweet cousin the marshmallow, these are light and airy and delicious ( I wrote a whole post just on guimauves with a recipe here). And the best place, perhaps in the world, to get them is Pain du Sucre.
This pastry shop is in the 3rd arrondissment just a couple of blocks away from Centre Pompidou, the first collection of modern and contemporary art in Europe. You can’t miss it because they put the guimauves in large glass containers along their window display. Each is filled with a different flavour, some more traditional such as raspberry, others are fantastically crazy (chili pepper!). The flavours change depending on the season The raspberry guimauve tasted like a raspberry burst and even had little bits of raspberry throughout. So did the pistachio. No artificial flavours here.
Go inside and buy one of each. That is my advice to save you some time. You will want to try them all and you should. These don’t travel particularly well, and they don’t last (they are made fresh and must be eaten within a day or so). Luckily there are a few little chairs and tables right outside for you to sit on, enjoy your treats and watch the 3rd arrondissment do its thing.
Pain De Sucre is run by Natalie Robert and Didier Mathray, both pastry chefs with a long and impressive CVs. They opened this pastry shop here in 2004 and then in 2011 a second one selling savoury treats and bread just 5 metres away. You might need to return more than once as this shop is famous not just for its guimauves but its pastries and, in particular, their baba au rhum.
If you can’t get yourself to Paris, these are easy to make at home. Click her for a recipe.
Verdict: Must try, with or without hot chocolate. Pain de Sucre, 14 Rue Rambuteau, 75003, Paris, France.