Amongst the weird and wonderful practices of this world are those of the argan fruits, the tree goats of Morocco and everything that surrounds them. The cycle of producing the exquisite argan oil is one of mutual benefit to all parties, however untraditional it will sound to most of us.
Lets begin with the argan tree: originating in the area of Agadir and Essaouira in present day Morroco, it is one of the few pieces of vegetation that loves the draught semi-desert climate and with a lifespan of 150-200 years for each tree, they have been around as long as anyone can remember.
But the argan tree is embedded in more than the eco-balance of the area, its rich fruits encapsule an oil uniquely healthy for skin and nutrition. This is where it gets…ehrm.. ..special. The fruits are not readily edible for humans, but a sought delicatessen for the local goats. The more adventurous ones are known to climb the argan trees to pick their own fresh argan-fruits, whilst some stay on the ground waiting to be served fallen fruit. The second stage is just as foreign, as the goats eat the fruit flesh, the kernels pass through their digestive system whole, to be picked out of the goat dung, pre-fermented and ready to process.
The following process is more familiar and includes roasting, cracking off shells, mashing and pressing. The finished product is a distinguished oil, which, depending on a details in the refining process, nurtures your skin or dresses your salad with equal majesty and smoothness.
We are in contact with a women’s collective just outside Essaouira, who are being significantly innovative in the processing of the fruit (not all has to “process through” a goat) as they are with the socio-economic make up of the team, including both berber women, Muslim arabs and even a couple of men to do the driving.
Pride & Produce will be offering the cosmetic argan oil, in natural or fragrance infused variants and organise experiences for you to join us on our next journey to Morocco. Stay tuned!
(or if you can’t wait, shoot over a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org)