April 24, 2019

Le Bon Magot’s Special Line of Products Offers Unique Chutneys, Preserves, and More

PLEASURE FOR THE PALATE: “Our products are unique because of the quality of our ingredients and our attention to detail. As soon as customers taste them, they like our products right away. They taste great!” Naomi Mobed, owner of Le Bon Magot, is shown with an array of her company’s special preserves, spice blends, condiments, pickled items, and chutneys.

By Jean Stratton

Ready to take a culinary tour through the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia?

You can tempt your taste buds with Le Bon Magot’s preserves, chutneys, condiments, spice blends, and more, all filled with the unique flavors and spice blends from these faraway places.

Established in 2015, Le Bon Magot is the Lawrenceville-based culinary endeavor of Naomi Mobed. Her unusual background has given her a singular insight into the development of this special company.

Born in Karachi, reared in Tehran, she lived in Hong Kong, and was educated in Princeton, Boston, and London. Working in New York, Paris, Dubai, Muscat, and Johannesburg, she wanted to share the myriad tastes and cultures of these diverse regions.

Call to Adventure

“For as long as I can remember, food has given me a sense of belonging wherever I was in the world,” explains Mobed. “It was at once familiar and new; both a reminder of my history and a call to adventure.

“Wherever life’s journey took my family, we embraced local customs, quickly adopting and fusing them to our own culinary traditions.

“From the ritual of sharing meals with friends and family emerges Le Bon Magot or ‘the hidden treasure’ in French. My mother, Mahrukh Mobed, is my partner in the company. Le Bon Magot is the culmination of my family’s culinary journey as we work to produce chutneys, condiments, emulsions, pickled items, preserves, and spice blends, among others, inspired by our heritage and experiences in Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.”

After a successful career in finance, Mobed decided to turn her attention to this uncharted field of endeavor. It was time for a new adventure.

“I had originally wanted to be in the culinary business,” she observes. “It was always my first love.”

Her unique background and culinary experiences have been crucial to Le Bon Magot’s success. “Our products are developed from heirloom recipes using natural ingredients, high-quality and seasonal produce, custom-blended aromatics, and no preservatives. Made in the U.S. in small batches and created in the ritual tradition, the products rely on classical cookery methods and all-natural preservation techniques to create special flavors, which we hope will inspire cooks and diners on their own culinary journeys.”

Very Versatile

This blend of old and new makes Le Bon Magot a singular entry in the gourmet and specialty food industry, she adds.

“Our products are very versatile, made with the finest fresh ingredients. They pair well with cheeses, and I’ve used some of them as ingredients in a Linzer cookie and fruit and nut brownies.”

There are five different products, but 15 are actually available since they come in three sizes.

Currently offered are Tomato and White Sultana Chutney, White Pumpkin and Almond Murabba (preserves), Spiced Raisin Marmalata (marmalade), Lemon-Sultana Marmalata, and Brinjal Caponata. Two additional flavors are in the works, reports Mobed. “We are continuing to develop the product. We’re always tweaking and improving it.

“Tomato Chutney is the most popular. It’s a balance between sweet and savory with a little heat. This is a great sandwich spread, perfect with burgers, steaks, chicken and meaty fish. Also, with roasted vegetables and soft goat and sheep’s milk cheese.

“Ingredients include tomato, sugar, apple cider vinegar, white sultanas, Kashmir chilies, fresh garlic, fresh ginger, cumin, garam masala, and sea salt.”

Unusual Dessert

Also popular is the Lemon-Sultana Marmalata with caraway and saffron. This is particularly good with goat and sheep’s milk cheese, pork, smoked chicken, and white fish, notes Mobed. “Drizzle it on cheesecake for an unusual dessert, and it can be used in classic bread pudding. Ingredients include golden sultanas, distilled white vinegar, verjus, sugar, lemons, crystallized honey, caraway, saffron, sea salt, and assorted spices.”

White Pumpkin and Almond Murabba with cardamom and vanilla is a special offering, says Mobed. “Containing the world’s costliest spices, this Persian preserve is served as a treat. Pairings abound: in autumn, with game; for breakfast, with bagels, toast or yogurt; also, fold into palmiers, or drizzle warm over vanilla ice cream. Ingredients include Indian long gourd, sugar, almonds, cinnamon, lemon juice, vanilla, proprietary spice mix, and sea salt.”

Le Bon Magot has gotten off to an excellent start, she adds. It is currently available in stores in all 50 states, and in Princeton and the area its products can be found in Bon Appetit in the Princeton Shopping Center, Olsson’s Fine Foods in Palmer Square, and at Brick Farm Market in Hopewell.

“Princeton is a good match for Le Bon Magot because there is an international community here. We are introducing something new, and the customers here like to think about spices beyond the traditional blends in their own country, such as France or Italy. We chose a French name, Le Bon Magot, for our company because French is the common denominator in culinary language.

High Quality

“We want to make sure that we grow steadily, at a stable pace, and become a pantry staple,” she continues. “We’re not a trendy product. We are high quality, and we offer classic tried and trusted flavors.”

Mobed is happy to report that Le Bon Magot has been honored by discriminating food critics, receiving gold, silver, and bronze Sofi Awards, and Good Food awards for best new products and best condiments.

“We are very encouraged by the response, and we will continue to provide the highest quality products. Customers appreciate the incredibly clean flavors and fresh ingredients, and, of course, they all have their favorites.

“As with any new experiment, every day brings a new challenge. There are production, distribution, and fulfillment considerations, but we are dealing with all of these, and we continue to add new stores. This is an exciting new adventure!”

For further information, call (609) 477-2847, visit the website: www.lebonmagot.com or email: info@lebonmagot.com.