I’ve seen pictures on Facebook of goats in trees and, while I know they can climb, I was always somewhat skeptical that the pictures were real. Imagine my surprise when our bus driver in Morocco stopped along the road and outside our windows were goats in a tree! Apparently, the fields are so desolate that the goats have learned to climb the trees to eat the leaves and nuts.
Traditionally, after the goats feed on the fruits of the Argan tree, the kernels were removed from their droppings, reducing the labor needed to pick and hull the nuts. This was not something I wanted to think about when we were served a few delicacies made with Argan oil. Fortunately, at the women’s co-op where we learned about the uses of this particular oil, we were told that modern facilities remove the peel by hand.
Argan oil is extracted from the kernels inside the nuts that grow on the tree. The oil is used for bread dipping, drizzled on couscous, or in salad dressings. Something else we ate while there was the Moroccan equivalent of peanut butter. Ground Argan kernels and almonds are mixed with honey and then spread on bread. It is quite tasty!
Argan oil is also used in many cosmetics but I have to be honest with you. Even though I’m just a few steps beyond normal, I’d have a hard time rubbing a moisturizer made with it on my face. Who really knows where that Argan oil has been?