Traditional Oil – Argan

 

This Argan oil has innumerable medicinal properties…which are yet untouched…

I’ll try to touch some of those through the medium of this article…

Stay glued…discover Argan in a better fashion…read ahead…

The Argan tree (also called argania spinosa) is perfect for a harsh environment…surviving heat…drought and poor soil….

There was a time when hardly people knew about this magical oil…I mean of course outside Morocco…and surprisingly enough….many Moroccans themselves had never heard of it because it grows only in the south-west of the country….it is roughly between Essaouira and Agadir (unusual names I know)…in an area covering 700,000-800,000 hectares….But within the area where the argan grows there are about 21 million trees which play a vital role in the food chain and the environment…though their numbers are declining…

You know the trunk of the argan is often twisted and gnarled…allowing goats to clamber along its branches and feed on the leaves and fruit…

And if you talk about the appearance of this tree…or the fruit then…the fruit has a green…fleshy exterior like an olive…but larger and rounder…Inside…there is a nut with an extremely hard shell…which in turn contains one…two or three almond-shaped kernels….

Coming to the production of argan oil…Well…the production of it…which is still mostly done by traditional methods…is a lengthy process….Each nut has to be cracked open to remove the kernels…and it is said that producing one litre of oil takes 20 hours’ work

You know this Argan oil is a tad darker than olive oil…with a reddish tinge….It can be used for cooking and is claimed to have various medicinal properties…such as lowering cholesterol levels…stimulating circulation and strengthening the body’s natural defences….Internationally…there is some interest in its possible cosmetic uses…

The residue from the kernels after oil extraction is a thick chocolate-coloured paste called “amlou” which is sweetened and served as a dip for bread at breakfast time in Berber households….It flavour is similar to that of peanut butter….

Almost all its parts are of some or the other use to us…Like

  • The wood and nut-shells of the argan tree are burned for cooking…
  • The wood is also used decoratively in some of the inlaid boxes…
  • The roots of the argan tree grow deep in search of water…helping to bind the soil and prevent erosion…

Isn’t it a really caring…environment friendly tree?

Listen to this…Households that make their own argan oil tend to use if for general cooking….you know why?

Because it is expensive to buy…others may use it more sparingly…you know like for…flavouring salads…just an example….A few drops stirred into couscous just before serving give it a rich…nutty aroma….( yes it is kind of a tip for you to note)

Argan production is still basically a cottage industry…managed largely by women…But many people believe that if the oil became better known it could provide more employment in the region as well as enhancing the environment….

Bottles of what pass for argan oil are sold along the roadsides between Essouira and Agadir…but is difficult to tell if they are genuine…Because the oil commands a high price…sellers are often tempted to dilute it with cheaper oils…Some bottles simply contain olive oil…coloured with paprika or other substances….

Okay…you’ve read enough…go through our reference links now..

  1. Argan Oil Types by Argan oil Society
  2. Liquid Gold by bpb
  3. Miraculous Argan Oil by www.care2.com

Grand History Of Argan Oil

 

This article I dedicate to the historical background of this kingly oil…Argon oil…Even the name seems of a king…Anyway

The Argan tree (formally or say scientifically known as Argania Spinosa) is one of the few still living tree species from the tertiary era (I mean the era over 65 million years ago) and it is typical of south western Morocco…

This tree was and actually is considered pious and holy…It grows from 7 to 10 metres high and is also considered a true Moroccan miracle due to its extraordinary…rare…sometimes bizarre characteristics….

This tree stands tall and does not fear drought and can withstand high temperatures up to 50 degrees Celsius…This tree has a life of more than 150 to 200 years…and if it dies it can remain dormant and then revive again in 7 years…Due to its amazingly strong and able root system…it is highly effective in preventing erosion…thereby preserving fertility of the soil and limiting the advance of the desert…So you now know what to do…to help nature…plant an Argan tree…

Hmm…moving on…I have certain typical historal facts to present before you about this tree…

  • In the 18th century during the reign of Sultan Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah the French diplomat De Chenier dedicated enormous attention to the Argan tree in his reports…
  • Thomas Barkelyan American diplomat whom U.S. President George Washington had sent on a mission to conclude a peace treaty between the two countries…reported with great interest on the Argan tree in 1786….
  • Then again…talking of 1867…the first Moroccan delegation participated in the international fair in Paris…They brought with them their exquisite products…most importantly the Argan nuts which caused a sensation among the fair’s attendees….

Hmm..thrilling it is to just be the history if a mere ‘tree’ ( okay I wont use ‘mere’ it might hurt sentiments of the believers)…

Again…In 1998…UNESCO added the Argan tree to the World Heritage list and in 2001 home institutions and foreign partners…organised the first festival dedicated to the Argan tree….Many important decisions were reached during the festival…such as long term development of the underdeveloped Berber regions…protection of the environment…and preservation of the Argan tree itself….

To present before you…facts about the usage of this tree…Lend me your eyes (it’s all literally…visual you see)

Morocco’s Berbers use Argan oil in their daily diets…it is served for breakfast together with home baked bread…and even the pieces are dipped into Argan oil and honey…A traditional Moroccan dish…There is this sweet called Amlou sweet…is considered a real delicacy…It is composed of Argan oil mixed with honey and almonds and gives energy and strength…and is also known as an aphrodisiac….

In cooking taking place at home as well as in exquisite restaurants Argan oil is added to steamed…roasted…or grilled foods which are prepared in this way to enhance flavour and provide several additional vitamins….

Hmm…kindly check out our reference links now…

  1. The history and use of argan oil by health-indicators.com
  2. Argan Oil history by elmaha-tours.com
  3. Argan history by zamourispices.com
  4. Argan Oil by dietobio.com
  5. Argan Oil For Health by Argan Oil News