Culture

Morocco. Towards south, The village of Tifnit, Argan & Tea

Author & Photographer : Alessandro Del Ben

Argania is a flowering plant containing the sole species Argania spinosa, known as argan, an endemic tree from the semi calcareous desert sous valley of southwestern Morocco and to the Algerian region of Tindouf in the western Mediterranean region.

Argan grows to 8–10 metres high and live up to 150–200 years.

In Morocco argania forests extend much more in the area between Essaouira and Agadir and are designated as a UNESCO biosphere reserve.

The plant of Argan exist in Morocco from 80 million years ago.

Argan oil is produced by several women’s co-operatives in the southwestern parts of Morocco. The most labour-intensive part of oil-extraction is removal of the soft pulp (used to feed animals) and the cracking by hand, between two stones, of the hard nut. The seeds are then removed and gently roasted. This roasting accounts for part of the oil’s distinctive nutty flavour.

The traditional technique for oil extraction is to grind the roasted seeds to paste, with a little water, in a stone rotary quern. The paste is then squeezed by hand in order to extract the oil. The extracted paste is still oil-rich and is used as animal feed. Oil produced this way can be stored and used for 3–6 months, and will be produced as needed in a family, from a store of the kernels, which will keep for 20 years unopened. Dry-pressing is becoming increasingly important for oil produced for sale, as this method allows for faster extraction, and the oil produced can be used for 12–18 months after extraction.

The oil contains 80% unsaturated fatty acids, is rich in essential fatty acids and is more resistant to oxidation than olive oil. Argan oil is used for dipping bread, on couscous, salad and similar uses. A dip for bread known as amlou is made from argan oil, almonds and peanuts, sometimes sweetened by honey or sugar. The unroasted oil is traditionally used as a treatment for skin diseases, and has become favoured by European cosmetics manufacturers.

Argan oil is sold in Morocco as a luxury item, and is difficult to find for sale outside the region of production. The product is of increasing interest to cosmetics companies in Europe. It used to be difficult to buy the oil outside Morocco, but since 2001–2002 it has become a fashionable product in Europe and North America.

 

DSC_0193 (2)The goats climb the Argan trees to eat the leafs.

DSC_0243Along the street goes from Essaouira to the south there are many Argan Cooperative.

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DSC_0117TE’ DU ROY

Morocco’s people usually drinks mint te’ with sugar, good for tone up the mind in the  hot summer season.

The Royal Tea is a different way to prepare tea from berbere custom.

They put in the teapot many kind of spices like Verbena, Viagra (natural roots), Cinnamon, Licorice, Anise, Thyme, Ginger, Rose, Juniper, Rosemary, Hibiscus, Cardamom and Mint.

 

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This way to prepare traditional Morocco tea exist from thousands years and handed down from one generation to another.

The Royal Tea is very aphrodisiac and invigorating 😉

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAMint seller

From Essaouira to Tifnit.

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAThe coast of north western Africa is characterized by precipitous high cliff on sea.

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The village of Tifnit in the Sous-Massa National Park.

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The Souss-Massa National Park placed in the Atlantic coast of Morocco which was created in 1991. It lies between Agadir to the north and Sidi Ifni to the south. The estuary of the Oued Souss is the northern limit of the park, and that of the Oued Massa is near the southern end. The habitat is grazed steppe with dunes, beaches and wetlands. The soil is mainly sandy with some rock areas.The park’s main conservation importance is because it holds three of the four Moroccan colonies of the Northern Bald IbisGeronticus eremita, a migratory bird found in barren, semi-desert or rocky habitats, often close to running water. It disappeared from Europe over 300 years ago, and is now considered critically endangered.

Ibis,_Northen (2)Northern Bald Ibis

 

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Author & Photographer : Alessandro Del Ben

 

 

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