The Modern PantryWhat To Buy

The Modern Pantry: Argania

By Ashley Beck | June 6, 2013

Argania argan oil and amlou

Argania, argan oil and amlou

 What is Argan Oil and Amlou?

I don’t know about you, but before I discovered Argania, my knowledge of argan oil was associated with hair. The hottest product around; meant to strengthen, silken and luscious your locks. Little did I know, that this precious salon oil is also a culinary gold mine and has been for centuries. 

Made only in Southwestern Morocco, argan oil is a labor and time intensive oil handmade by Berber women. To give you an idea: 130 lbs. of fruit + 20 hours of labor + 5 weeks of processing = 1 liter of 100% organic argan oil. Berber women have been producing this “liquid gold” for centuries. You could say this process is indeed a labor of love. Another Morrocan delicacy is amlou. Amlou, similar to a nut butter but thinner in consistency, is made of argan oil, nuts, and honey.

Who is Argania?

With a MIT PhD candidate, a master in innovation management, and a sales and marketing guru at hand, it’s no wonder Argania has become such a winning formula for sustainable, fair trade success. Founder and president, Zahir Dossa, vice president, Aly Juma, and marketing director, Chris Hudgens, have created a brand that prides itself on the best gourmet products made from 100% organic argan oil, while remaining fair to their partners: the women that provide them with the argan fruit from argan trees to make their oil.  You could say Argania is synonymous with the term partnership.  They are committed to ensuring the 60 women in the cooperative they employ are given a fair wage, which is in fact 10x the amount of the average wage given in the industry.

Not only are they fair to their hard working women, they go one step further and help facilitate the longevity of their partnership by supporting the non-profit organization, Volunteer Morocco. VM is responsible for instilling incentives to strengthen Moroccan communities with establishments like health clinics, after-school programs, and irrigation technologies, to name a few.

Why we love it:

Not only do we adore this team for their philanthropic efforts, but their products are spot on spectacular! These include: 100% argan oil, toasted peanut amlou, roasted almond amlou and chocolate hazelnut amlou (this one’s for all you Nutella fanatics out there).

What’s more? Argan oil is rich in vitamin E, antioxidants and fatty acids. Properties that are known to lower cholesterol, increase circulation and reduce high blood pressure. Not to mention its delicious, warm, and nutty flavor that enhances dishes like honey spread, basil pesto and hummus.

Argania, pure Moroccan argan oil and amlous, made the fair trade way.  A body and soul satisfication. What more could we ask for?

From left to right: Zahir, Aly, and Chris enjoying a freshly made couscous dish on their latest trip to Morocco.

To learn more about Argania and/or  purchase their products click the link below:

https://arganiagourmet.com/

For more stories from Ashley Beck, click here

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