Road to Essaouira

Halid was our driver for the day trip to Essaouira.  He was also our driver for the trip from Casablanca to Marrakech and while we were in Marrakech.  On the road to Essaouira we stopped a couple of times to learn about Argan Oil.  

We had heard about Argan oil throughout our trip to Morocco.  We had sales pitches in Fes and Rabat about how great Argan oil was.  

Argan oil comes from the Argan tree that only grows in southern Morocco near the towns of Essaouira and Agidir.

The fruit of the Argan tree is a special treat for goats who climb the scraggly branches to feast.  The fruit would pass through the digestive system of the goat where it be collected from the dung and then compressed to get the oil.  Today, the process is streamlined to collect and compress the organ kernels, bypassing the goats.

Argan Oil

After watching the goats for a few minutes we then visited an Argan oil processing plant.
Goats in an Argan tree - just like the old days.  They no longer use the goats in Argan oil processing, but they have some here for tourist (like us) photo ops.
The Argan nut is cracked by hand, then compressed to obtain the oil.  
Argan Oil was for sale just about anywhere you went in Morocco.  At left in the Medina in Fes.  Above at a store in Rabat.  
Our purchase