Argan is a rare plant that only exists in Morocco, and it's really good for health, today is only about this unique plant, we're gonna talk about where does it grow, why is it so expensive, how do we extract oil from it, and finally what do we use it for.
What is Argan ?
First, Argan is a plant that grows exclusively in Morocco, especially in the South, why ? Because the South of Morocco is hotter than the North of it. Argan doesn't require much care, I mean, it doesn't need to be wattered regularly. It can live up to 200 years, and grows to 8-10 metters high.
Why is it expensive ? And how do we extract oil from it ?
We all know how expensive is Agan for locals and for some foreigners. But why exactly ? To understand the cause, first we need to know how do women in co-operatives extract oil from it. The traditional technique for oil extraction is to grind the roasted seeds to paste, with a little water, in a stone rotary quern. The paste is then squeezed by hand to extract the oil. The extracted paste is still oil-rich and is used as animal feed. Oil produced this way can be stored and used for 3–6 months, and will be produced as needed in a family, from a store of the kernels, which will keep for 20 years unopened. Dry-pressing is becoming increasingly important for oil produced for sale, as this method allows for faster extraction, and the oil produced can be used for 12–18 months after extraction. And this extraction needs a lot of work as you noticed, buu also money, and time, that's why it is pricey.
What do we use it for ?
A lot of Moroccans (especially amazigh) use it as a essential element in cooking, it can replace the olive oil, coconut oil... And Argania (the tree) can be a source of forage, but animals do damage the tree, so it's not a good act. We use it in Couscous, Amlou (made from almonds, peanuts, aragan of course, and sweetened sometimes by honey or sugar), salads, tajine (some of them).
It can also be used as a cosmetic product, and nowadays it's highley prefered by European cosmetic manufactures, and also American ones !! It's good for skin treatment, and can be a great mask for your hair !!
Last edited: Saturday, september 17, 2016