Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Moroccan Gold on my plate

And I'm not sure if I like it...

Argan oil

This appears to be a precious little bottle of oil, all the way from Morocco. It's called Argan Oil, I've been doing some reading today and apparently it's good for almost anything, culinary purposes, radiant skin, anti-aging, luscious shining hair, you name it.

I don't know if my SIL thought I should do something about my appearance when she brought it back for me from her vacation in Morocco, I believe she meant for us to enjoy and eat it, I must admit it was sitting in the basement for a while, but it's out now and I plan on using it.

As I said, a little reading was in order and the part that I had the most fun with, was the part with the goats. Goats? Yes! Somewhere in the back of my mind upon receiving the present there was this little story on goats eating, er.. processing and fermenting, and hey presto: extra-special aroma! But....that was coffee beans.... It turns out it's Argan nuts as well. Or is it?

Different sources, different stories but goats in every one of them. In one, we unsuspecting readers and future consumers are reassured that goats are only allowed to climb the trees that are not used for culinary purposes....(hah, no, we won't eat that but instead dab it on our pretty faces...duh!) in another we are told that because of the goat-fermenting process the nuts are easier to crack and so the oil can be pressed. In the area around Agadir where these Argan trees are found, food is hard to get and for the goats the fruit of these trees are a much welcomed part of their diet. They eat the whole fruit, leaving the inner core (the nut) intact and in passing the digestive system makes it softer and easier to crack.

For the sake of sanity argument I am going to believe that these goats can be trained to climb the not-culinary-nut-holding-trees, and that the people collecting the nuts are trained to distinguish between goat-processed nuts and not-goat-processed nuts. Nuts. Indeed! Do you think goats can climb trees, not just the lower branches but the entire tree? Go!

Isn't that fun? Now that I have this bottle, truth or dare? I braced myself and tasted the oil as it was, straight from the bottle like you would an olive oil. Hmm, quite strong and powerful, funny aftertaste, very nutty earthy flavor, somewhat herbal? It gives a very oily/buttery mouthfeel as well (organoleptically speaking *grin*). The next thing was try it on some good bread with er.. soft goat cheese (sorry, that was on hand in the kitchen and I thought it was kind of appropriate). Well eeh....the flavours mingled and seem to enhance one 'n other.....

Haven't had the chance to use it in a dish yet, but I'm thinking a salad will be nice, using oranges and parsley, some roasted pine nuts. And a dash of oil instead of butter in a bowl of couscous sounds good too. And maybe I should try to make the Moroccan variety of peanutbutter, Amlou, a mixture of roasted ground almonds, honey and argan oil. Suggestions anyone?


  1. I've seen the goats climbing the argan trees in northern Morocco ... it's really true!

    The amlou sounds wonderful - I should just put it all in the blender and see what happens ... Good luck!

  2. Hoi,

    Deze olie brengen kennissen mee uit Marokko en ik gebruik hem al jaren in de sladressing. Deze olie mag je niet verhitten, verder kun je er alles mee doen wat je met sesamolie kunt, alleen is de smaak nog iets meer nootachtig. Ook in een brood met noten, heerlijk. Laat je fantasie de vrije loop. Maar een beetje zuinig, deze olie is duurder dan hele goede whisky...


  3. Argan olie? Heerlijk!!!
    Idd in de salade, maak dan een dressing met wat sinaasappelsap (evt. wat citroen), en gebruik wat koriander.
    Of giet het over de tajine, vlak voor serveren. Mjammie!
    Of af en toe gewoon een lepeltje nemen ;-)

  4. never heard of it! But it sounds really interesting!

  5. What an interesting (and funny) post, Baking Soda! I'd never even heard of that oil!

  6. Gorn says "Sure, goats climb trees!" and means it. Now, I think we need to travel a bit more! Would love to try this oil!

  7. It is always interesting recieving culinary gifts that you are not familiar with! I can't wait for the saga to continue!


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