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Sunset at the mosque. Morocco Summer Program.

The Importance of Argan Oil

While some of us wandered into the world of Moroccan woodworking, others chose to explore the technique of the art and culture around argan oil. The women at the shop took the time to explain to us, in a mixture of French, English, and a little Darija, the process of transforming the argan fruits into the oil that is used for practically everything. We watched the seeds being picked out of the fruit, then roasted until they changed color. Then the seeds were crushed in a special machine until a thin, almond butter-like paste was formed. Then, the women mixed and kneaded the paste until it separated into the oil and leftover cakes made of seed paste. The oils were then re-purposed for cooking, perfume, makeup and other cosmetic products. We loved learning how this product, which we originally just saw as a tourist trap, was deeply involved in Moroccan culture and life.