Le Bonbon au Palais :: Les Guimauves

Le Bonbon au Palais :: Les Guimauves

After reading David Lebovitz’s blog entry about Le Bonbon au Palais, I knew I had to pay a visit . . . asap. It’s been almost two months since then, and I’ve managed to consume several hundred euros worth of candy. I’m not kidding. The place is a wonderland of traditional French confections. Everything in the shop is super olden-timey authentic, trucked in from every corner of the country. There’s no way I can resist. And you, my friends, won’t believe it ’til you see it.

Above all the other gems in the store, the one thing that has me hooked like heroin are the guimauves (marshmallows). In fact, my favorite among them are the coquelicot (poppy), which might explain the narcotic qualities. I’m no stranger to buying a bag of them and then downing it all within the span of an hour. It’s way too much to eat, so I briefly consider bulimia before opting instead for a long nap.

Le Bonbon au Palais :: Les Guimauves

Now, there’s almost as much difference between French and American marshmallows as there are between French and American macaro(o)ns. Our disgusting shelf-stable, plastic bagged flavorless travesties are little more than gelatinized sugar. The guimauves in these photos, however, are handmade in Bayonne – just outside the Pyrenées – prepared in small batches and assaultively perfumed. When you bite into them, they’re incredibly soft and begin to dissolve almost instantly. It’s a pure rush of flavor and sugar, all delivered in that texturally delicate framework. Even if you think you hate marshmallows, there’s an excellent chance you will love these. They’re just . . . amazing.

Le Bonbon au Palais :: Les Guimauves

Extra cool is that the jolly owner of the shop, Georges, carries a very thorough range of flavors. While they vary from week-to-week, here’s a non-exhaustive sampling: violet, litchi, fleur d’oranger (orange blossom), rose, banana, passion fruit, réglisse (licorice), coqeulicot (poppy flower), orange zest, vanilla, pistache, poire (Williams pear), cherry, and on-and-on. Buying eight of them will cost you around 12 euros, and will make for a fine lunch or dinner. Trust me, I sometimes eat an 8 (or 12) pack for just that reason. I mean, sure, Slim-Fast has “meal replacement bars”, but I have “meal replacement bags of marshmallows”. Which would you rather eat?

Le Bonbon au Palais :: Les Guimauves

The shot above is a pile of my favorites – the coquelicot. I don’t know if I love them because they are delicious or because we don’t have poppy flower flavored things in the United States. It might be both, which is also why I am addicted to tonka-flavored chocolates. However, in the case of tonka, it’s actually illegal in the U.S., whereas coquelicot is merely not-yet-popularized. And if you’re wondering how the **** to pronounce it, it’s like KOKE-uh-lee-KO.

Le Bonbon au Palais :: Les Guimauves

So, yeah, obviously go run over to Le Bonbon au Palais. It’s at 19 Rue Monge (not too far from the Pantheon), and it’s open from 11am-7:30pm Tuesday through Saturday. Tell Georges that Adam sent you, and he’ll know exactly what guimauves and candies you’ll be looking for.

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9 thoughts on “Le Bonbon au Palais :: Les Guimauves”

  1. Have you ever read any William Burroughs?
    I'm betting you've have.
    Remember the "Mugwumps"?
    I see that beautiful shop full of sugary delights with you in there and I start to see a guy with
    no liver to handle the digestion of said ingredient.
    Of course at least 85% of this concern is born out of pure envy that you can consume Tonka bean and poppy seed and here in the US all it takes is one NYPost food reviewer to cause hysteria amongst the diners!
    Well, if things play out well I'll be in the "City of Light consuming my own vast quantities of said marshmallows and Tonka infusions soon and perhaps we'll pass each other on the gurneys!

  2. You complain about macarons being too expensive sometime but not a word about guimaves priced 1.5 € each. So crazy expensive makes you wonder if people know what guimaves are made of.

  3. in fact your publish is honestly superb and i respect it. It’s tough to type the good from the horrific now and again, however I assume you’ve nailed it. You write thoroughly that is extraordinary. I really stimulated by your put up.

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