“For as long as I can remember, food has given me a sense of belonging wherever I was in the world. It was, at once, familiar and new; both, a reminder of my history and a call to adventure,” offers Naomi Mobed, life-long traveler and founder of LeBon Magot®(pronounced (mă-gō') — a condiment company that brings the globe to your doorstep, combining exotic spices and vegetables into tart pickles and ripe, luscious fruit preserves.
The company’s name translates to “The Hidden Treasure,” and, indeed, that’s the jar you’ve gotten. We sent out one of six of her flavors — each a great representation of Mobed’s own personal story; and that of LeBon Magot. Because travel is always about the things we discover and stories we tell.
Born in Karachi, Pakistan and raised in Tehran, with time spent living in Hong Kong, a position as a research assistant at Princeton in Boston and in London, Mobed knows the world’s corners intimately. She’s worked in London, NYC and Dubai, before venturing to Muscat, Oman and Johannesburg, South Africa. “Le Bon Magot is the culmination of my family’s culinary journey as we work to produce chutneys, condiments, emulsions, pickles, preserves and spice blends (among a few other things we hold dear) inspired by our heritage and experiences in South Asia, Middle East and Africa,” she says. “My family traveled on our stomachs and wherever life’s journey took us, we embraced local customs, quickly adopting and fusing them to our own culinary traditions.”
In your box, you will find your petite jar, packing tons of storied flavor. The ones she selected to pack were her Carrot & Fruit Conserve with Coriander & Jaggery, the Lemon-Sultana Marmalata with Caraway & Saffron, a Sour Cherry Pomegranate Conserve with Cocoa, Mahlab, & Orange Flower, a Spiced Raisin Marmalata with Ras al-Hanout & Smoked Cinnamon, the Tomato & White Sultana Chutney with Ginger & Garam Masala and her White Pumpkin & Almond Murabba with Cardamom & Vanilla.
Just in that listing alone, you’ll find the spice markets of Istanbul or the souks of Marrakesh, a trip to Delhi and a stroll through the rainforests of Madagascar.
Food remains a form of communication for Mobed, not merely a thing we sit down to each day, but a reason for gathering and a bridge to build connections. Food fosters stories, and her condiments share that same thread you’ll find in Penfolds and in Cobram. The world in a moment — places connected through similarities and celebrated in the beautiful differences.
“Each of our creations take clients on a culinary journey to a different part of the Spice Route,” Mobed continues, “offering distinctive flavors created from unique spice blends, unusual ingredients and innovative treatments of traditional recipes. Our crafted preserves and relishes are made in small batches from heritage recipes, using high-quality seasonal produce, custom-blended aromatics and no preservatives. They have the added benefit of being gluten-free and vegan friendly. In addition to the distinctive look and taste of the products, a notable feature of our condiments is an enduring shelf-life, which has been achieved through classical, proven cooking and preserving techniques (e.g., pickling, temperature control, oil, sugar).”
Furthermore, LeBon Magot products are all made in the heart of wine country on the North Fork of Long Island, with ingredients, when possible, sourced from neighboring wineries, including the Wölffer Estate Vineyards, out of Sagaponack, New York.
The Tomato and White Sultana Chutney with Ginger & Garam Masala is the brand’s most popular flavor, which she describes as “a savory, sticky jam that is versatile to use. The Garam Masala and Ginger, a deep crimson color from the Kashmiri Chilis makes this a favorite among cheese lovers.”
Sour Cherry Pomegranate Conserve with Cocoa, Mahlab & Orange Flower along with the White Pumpkin Preserves with Cardamom & Vanilla will take you right back to the warmth of a winter holiday, and the Spiced Raisin Marmalata with Ras al-Hanout & Smoked Cinnamon has a rich musky flavor that might remind you of a traditional mincemeat tart.
No matter which you have before you, each is ideal with the other surprises in this box. A suggestion: put it out on the table for when you have friends over. It’s a delightful little travel conversation starter.