For centuries, the Berber tribes of the southwest of Morocco have resorted to argan oil as a basic component of their diet and as an element of traditional medicine. At the beginning of the 1990s, biochemical analyses already confirmed the valuable nutritional and medicinal properties of this product. The argan ('Argania spinosa') is a tree, wild, unique in the world and declared reserve of the biosphere by the UNESCO in 1999. It is endemic to land calcareous semi-desert like southwest of Morocco and the Algerian region of Tindouf.
The production is carried out manually, with the separation of the pulp of the fruit and the subsequent opening of Walnut
The fruits of the argan, similar to a date, ripen between March and September, when they are collected to extract their oil, clear and transparent, amber, presenting a strong and pleasant taste with a light aroma of dried fruits. The production is carried out, to a large extent, by hand, which involves a laborious task that begins with the separation of the pulp of the fruit and the subsequent opening of walnut.
Each nut keeps three seeds inside which can be toasting or stop raw, are crushed and then grind in a stone mill. The product obtained is a paste of a sesame, that cream-like consistencyLet it rest for a week in a cool, dark place. Subsequently, women make balls of dough squeezed with his hands to get the oily liquid.
With this nutritious pasta, 'amlou', is made of a kind of cake that is taken with breakfast. 100 kilos of fruit approximately two litres of oil are extracted, and it is estimated that each liter requires 10 hours of work. It has been used for hundreds of years by the Berber communities in a traditional way as medicinal and invigorating food that also has cosmetic properties.
Argan oil is sold in Morocco as a luxury item and, due to the increased interest from the years 2000 - 2001 show cosmetic companies, European and American, its price has increased considerably (a 250 ml bottle can cost about 17 euros).
For more information: http://www.consumer.es