Hand made items and the opportunity to see local people making and producing them is always a real privilege to witness when visiting another country. Moroccan Argan oil takes a lot of nimble fingers and repetitive manual labour to extract for our use; seeing the process from start to finish was very interesting, whilst the process of making the beautiful ceramic plates and dishes is often made using a foot peddled pottery wheel and hand made kilns outdoors.
Locally Made Pottery and Beautiful Ceramics
Berber Women’s Argan Oil Cooperative
There are lots of these cooperatives in Morocco, and if you want to buy Argan oil while your there, these are probably the best places to buy it from – direct from the hands that crush and extract the oil from the nut. These corporations also help women in Morocco to gain financial independence through their own business ventures.
Argan oil has lots of health and beauty benefits and is a pure substance, free from any chemicals. It’s great for skin. hair, nails, and there are also edible types which are popular with salads.
Some of the ladies were telling me that although Agran oil is very popular and a great oil to use – ‘prickly pear oil’ does all the things that Argan oil does, but quicker and more effectively, it’s also more expensive, they were asking for 700 dirham (around £55 for a small bottle), though one assistant was willing to knock it down to 600 dirham.
If anyone can recommend some reputable retailers of pure organic Argan oil online (not tampered with in any way and in a dark brown bottle – which helps preserve it’s purity) – please let me know. I bought some recently from an online company claiming to sell directly from Moroccan Berber women but the oil has no smell – it’s meant to have that mild nutty smell if it’s pure, so I won’t be using it!!
Our Saharan guide pointed out that when you’re shopping in the souks you need to be aware of popular Argan oil scams – a lot of it is predominantly sunflower oil with an Argan label on the bottle. It is much safer to buy it direct from the Argan cooperatives to get the pure product.
A spot of wine tasting to end the day……
Morocco Le Val D’Argan Vinyard