Moroccan Oil

We visited a women’s cooperative where they make argan oil. The argan is a small nut that grows only in certain parts of Morocco. Moroccan Argan oil is applied to the hair to make it soft and shiny, and applied to the skin to make it soft and supple.

Native craftswomen making argon oil products. Humble team of three apparently can FILL the shop with goods!
Native craftswomen making argon oil products. Humble team of three apparently can FILL the shop with goods!

First, you crack the fruit to get to the nut...
First, you crack the fruit to get to the nut…

The shop women demonstrated the process of making the oil. Two women sat cracking and shelling the nuts, another woman hand cranked a nut grinder producing an oily sludge similar to natural peanut butter but more red in color. A third woman who spoke English quite well explained the process and extolled the virtues of the oil.

...then you smack the nut to get the kernel...
…then you smack the nut to get the kernel…

Although the demonstrated process seemed slow and labor intensive, the products in their shop were high quality and professionally packaged. I can’t help but think that the actual production process is at least a little more modern and automated than what they showed us.

...then you grind the kernels into something resembling peanut butter and refine out oils.
…then you grind the kernels into something resembling peanut butter and refine out oils.
Top two baskets are things that are left after refinement - usually used as the abrasive in cosmetics.
Top two baskets are things that are left after refinement – usually used as the abrasive in cosmetics.
The shells can be used to substitute for gravel!
The shells can be used to substitute for gravel!