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Read down to enter our competition to win a duo of jams and chutneys!

Selling an old implement on FaceBook Marketplace for Fr. 14.- brought me a delicious barter. Who wouldn't jump at the opportunity to exchange an item for sale for a couple jars of homemade jams and chutneys? That happened to me recently and that is how I got to know about Helen Shapiro's passion for making these yummy combinations! Under the name Le Bon Goût, she has really found the best combinations for delicious concoctions.

As I'm not so much of a jam person, Helen offered one of her Aubergine/Onion chutneys that accompanies our cheese platter perfectly, as well as a yummy blueberry jam and some samplers. Lisa's favorite was the Orange Spiced Mulled Wine one... we can't wait for the next batch to come out nearer Christmas.

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Recently, she proposed I try her Fresh Pineapple chutney and an Cranberry/Apple jam. These go especially well with pork chops or cheese platters. She said she is working on some more autumn flavors such as Pumpkin/Sage chutney, Juniper Berries/Earl Grey, Plum Bouquet, and Kiwi/Lime jam.

Helen commented, "I love experimenting with flavors. The pleasure I have had in preparing and putting up jars has also been a work on myself. I find it quite therapeutic and have been wanting to veer away from my previous corporate job. With jams and spreads, it's a tricky balance between innovation and tradition: some people respond to the flavors of those long lazy summer days of their childhood (or to grandma's loving creations), yet others look for innovation and untraditional combinations. At the end of the day, it's about balance of flavors, thought-through nuances and a harmony of color, perfume and flavor. My goal is to push the limits, even with my "classical" flavors, so that you get a unique and consistent preserve, made with the best ingredients. Let the ingredients do the talking... Then, of course, it's up to each person's palette."

Helen sources all her ingredients locally, some of which are directly from her beautiful and bountiful garden, which is totally natural. In the case of exotic fruits, she buys them from farmer's markets and bulk retailers but always adds in local ingredients such as the fresh herbs or local produce.

Helen is determined to give flowers their rightful place in her jelly collection. The delicate and surprising flavors are sourced directly from the garden. As one client in Zurich said about her Wisteria Petal Jelly: "it's like eating fairy dust". So with the changing seasons, she will make jellies out of Elderberry Flowers, Wisteria, Peony, Rose, Lavender, and whatever else she can experiment with.

Some of Helen's recent flavor combinations will make your mouth water, but as these are limited lots, you will find other creative pairings through her inventory list, which changes with the seasons. Here is the one for September 2021:

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We asked Helen a few more questions:

What are your other projects?

To complement our jams and jellies, and to celebrate nature, I have gone back to some old passions of mine... Now I also design and create beautiful flowery jewelry with air dried clay and accessories for hats and hair with customized artificial and dried flowers. So you can have my peony jelly as well as a pair of peony earrings!

I also have created spreads (pâtes à tartiner). Why should we settle for chocolate spreads with almost 0% chocolate? And why not spread the joy with some delicious fruit spreads? So I have created some classic creations like REAL Chocolate "de lux", or the more daring Caramelized Bananas (Ay Caram-ba!), Coconut/White Chocolate (Coco-Loco), and Lavender/White Chocolate.

It's also important for me to get people acquainted with the abundance and variety of fruits and veggies. For example, during the winter months I explore the world of citrus fruit. I work a lot with Citrus, Combava, Tangelo, and Bergamote Orange. Those fragrant and delicious fruits are all cousins, yet their flavors are surprisingly varied.

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Do you prepare gift baskets?
I love upcycling receptacles. The creative work is putting together a mini-garden of flavors, which will correspond to someone's preferences. I combine flavor and color with practicality, adding original spoons (never to be found in stores), and other little surprises to a harmonious and unique gift basket. Each basket is one of a kind. I can make tailor-made ones if a client has a request - just give me your budget, tell me about the person(s) who will receive the basket, and leave the rest to me! We can discuss deliveries as needed.

One of my customers does all his Christmas shopping with me. He matches existing gift baskets with his list of friends. Now his friends are purchasing gift baskets for their friends!

What are your plans for the future?
I would love my jams and jewelry to become my full-time job, so we are in the process of developing an agro-ecological farm. It's a huge investment, but we are determined to make it work. So stay tuned...

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Helen is kindly offering TWO lucky knowitall.ch readers a duo of jars of their choice (value Fr. 14.- to Fr. 16.-) to be chosen from the existing stock. Just fill out this form and answer this question: What is Lisa's favorite jam combination at the moment?

Only one entry per email is allowed. No cash equivalent of prizes is permitted. Delivery within the Greater Geneva area up to Nyon free-of-charge. Winners outside this area can liaise with Helen about pick up. The competition closes at midnight on Thursday, 23 September 2021. The names of all those submitting correct answers will be placed into the digital hat and the winners' names drawn at random on Friday, 24 September 2021. The winners will be notified by email.

Helen Shapiro
Le Bon Goût
WhatsApp or SMS
079 106 83 64