Last week I was strolling down the Rue Quincampoix, a cobbled pedestrian street near the Centre Pompidou, when I noticed the cheap and tacky clothing shop that used to be on the corner of Rue Rambuteau is now an adorable little pistachio shop called La Pistacherie.
They really went all out on the decor, with the wood panelling, fancy packaging, and the colorful nuts and dried fruits presented in big glass jars like candy. I was actually out and about preparing for a tour, scoping out some corset boutiques nearby to make sure they were open (about half the shops on my list were, even in August). But as I also consider it my job to know where all of the good food shops are in Paris, of course I had to go in and check out the goodies.
You can assume a shop called La Pistacherie is going to have a good selection of pistachios. They have roasted ones, amazing raw ones, chocolate covered ones, sugar-coated ones (in little balls, wrapped in cellophane like candies), and different blends with other nuts and dried fruits.
There's one whole counter for the raw nuts, including walnut, almond, pine nut, and macadamia, which are hard to find. The second counter has roast nuts of every kind, even roasted chick peas and corn nuts. The dried fruits were pretty exotic, including dried blueberries and dried pomegranate kernels.
I got the "Mélange Pistache/Physalis" (dried Physallis, those little yellow fruits that look like little tomatos, usually decorating desserts) and the "Mélange Pistache/Mûre Blanche" (dried White Mulberry). I also got some of the macadamia nuts, two candies (the raw pistachios in soft nougat flavored with orange blossom water was amazing) and a little ice cream button. Button sounds strange, but that's what they look like. The outside has a solid shell, almost like a Magnum bar, with ice cream inside. I've heard they're similar to Mochi found in Japan. A great little bite for a quick ice cream fix.
The friendly owner and his staff give people tastes, which is nice considering that these are not cheap products. My bill came to €22. It was worth it for the quality, the variety, and the novelty of the flavors. Although it has the "look", this is not a chain (although I think the owner liked the idea when I asked), and has only been open for three months. Do check it out for some original gift ideas for others (or yourself, hee hee).
67 rue Rambuteau, 4th
Tel 01 42 78 84 55
And yes, that's an enormous Space Invader above the shop. ;-)