Don’t let this picture get your goat. It isn’t fake!

Don’t let this picture get your goat. It isn’t fake!

This remarkable phenomenon occurs in Morocco and it isn’t photoshopped. There are several goats up in an Argan tree. This it is so rare and unique that this has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

These quirky little goats have no qualms about scampering out on branches, 30 feet off the ground, in search of the tree’s firm bitter fruit which they love. It has a thick peel and contains a bitter fleshy pulp around an almond-shaped nut that resembles a dried olive. Their bodies cannot digest this bitter nut. When process through the digestive system (poop) is used for cosmetics or edible purpose.


How is it made?

Traditionally, the women would wait for the nut to return from the goats’ stomach, either through vomiting or the process of digestion. They would clean and crack the shell by hand, tossing the innermost nut into a basket. These kernels are then roasted, ground, mashed to produce oil, one of the most highly sought and expensive culinary and cosmetic oil sometimes called “Liquid Gold,” in the world. It is commonly used to dip bread in at breakfast or to drizzle on couscous or pasta. You also find it in cheese, ice cream, hummus and many cosmetics. Only women are taught to make Argan Oil, and they are the sole caretakers of the centuries-old method and are sold in Cooperatives that allow women the opportunity to work and earn an income. This robust, nutty oil has improved the lives of many rural Moroccan families, both economically and educationally. That the rise in Argan Oil production is directly linked to more Moroccan girls being able to attend secondary school as well as employment for women. 

Sara’s Recommendation

I am a widow who travels alone. This is not a place I would recommend spending several days unless you are a seasoned traveler who understands the culture. However, if you must visit I would recommend going with a travel company that specializes in that area or better yet work with a Destination Management Company. A for-profit organization that promotes and sells services in a specific destination. For safety reasons, this is not a place to go on a shoestring budget.