Olympic Goats going for Gold!

Argan Oil

There have been over 500 medals won in the 2012 Olympic Games to date – but we think these goats deserve gold!

Risking life and limb to climb to the top of the Argan trees in search of the fleshy fruit it bears. It is from this fruit that Argan Oil, one of the rarest oils in the world is extracted from the nut at the centre of the fruit, a precious commodity coming from a very small area in the south west of Morocco.

The Berbers have used this oil for hundreds of years, originally collecting the nuts from the undigested waste of the Olympic goats. The trees can live up to 200 years and are perfectly adapted to the harsh conditions and drought in the area. The Argan Tree, which once covered North Africa, is now an endangered and protected species.

The precious Argan Oil is made from the kernels found inside the fruit. Today the fruits are picked and dried and then the nuts are cracked and the kernels removed. To this day the process of cracking the nuts is carried out by hand, very labour intensive!

For culinary oil the kernels are gently roasted and then ground and pressed. The resulting oil is decanted and left to rest for two to three weeks and then filtered again to achieve the beautiful clear oil sold here at Vanilla Chef.

The Oil is lovely for dipping bread, drizzling over salads or Cous Cous and goes fantastically with sea food. Berbers also grind almonds and mix with Argan Oil to form a thick brown paste known as Amlou which is used locally as a bread dip.

Argan oil is also widely used as a beauty product due to its moisturising properties. Commonly used as a treatment for skin diseases (acne in particular) and cosmetically for hair and nails. The oil is made by womens co-operatives and supports 2.2 million people in the South West region of Morocco. Researchers have concluded that daily consumption is highly likely to help prevention of various cancers, heart disease and obesity.

Vanilla Chef’s Argan Oil is beautifully clear and pure and a fantastic addition to your collection of oils – get your’s before the goats do!