Moroccan Gold, Argan Oil.
Argan oil, is now a must have product in any kitchen. Native only to Morocco and Algeria this oil with its strong nutty flavour is one of the treasures of the Moroccan souks.
The ancient gnarled Argan tree ( much adored by Moroccan goats for climbing practice) produces its nutty off spring once a year around July. When the nut is nice and browned by the sun, the bitter tasting nuts are roasted, next the seeds in the centre of the nut are ground together by hand to produce the oil. The oil producers are often small co operatives run by women. The production of this oil is important as it helps to keep many small villages and their rural traditions alive along the coastal areas of Morocco.
This product is rich in healthy fatty acids and is not only used for cooking but in cosmetic products such as soaps and lotions. Traditional Moroccan herbalists have been using argan oil for skin ailments for centuries.
The Argan forests are now Unesco protected so lets hope the goats get the message and stay out the trees.
You will find plenty of Argan Oil in the souks of Marrakech at a fraction of what it would cost in Europe or America.