Culinary Moroccan Argan Oil: What is it and How is it Made?

What is Culinary Moroccan Argan Oil?

Culinary argan oil comes from cold pressing the seed of the argan fruit grown on argan trees. Argan trees are only found in one region of southwestern Morocco. Thus, argan oil is a truly authentic Moroccan export. Today, argan oil is sold for cosmetic and culinary purposes, as it has many natural healing properties. The main difference between cosmetic and culinary argan oil is that the argan nut is toasted before it is cold pressed to make culinary argan oil. This creates a beautiful oil that is aromatic and has a wonderful toasted nutty flavor.

The History of Argan Oil

Argan oil has taken the world by storm, but Moroccans have known about and used this liquid gold for generations. It has been used in the beauty rituals of Moroccan women since the age of antiquity. It has been recorded that the Phoenicians in 1550 BC used argan oil. In the 16th century, it first made it’s way to Europe in trade as an “exotic” oil.

How is Culinary Moroccan Argan Oil Produced?

Argan trees produce a fruit that looks similar to an olive. When the fruit is ripe, it falls from the tree and it is then gathered up by hand. The exterior kernel becomes dry and shriveled. It needs to be removed to access the interior nut that holds the oil. 

The argan-making process is mainly done by womens' cooperatives in Morocco. It is hard work, as the process of cracking the argan fruit to remove the seeds is done by hand. However, the high demand for argan oil has created many