Argan Oil

The Argan tree, native to Morocco, bears olive-like fruit that contains a hard nut; the fruit is crushed to extract the nut, then the nuts are roasted and pressed. This labor-intensive process is mostly done by hand and makes the argan oil pricey.

Argan oil does not do so well as a cooking oil, as it cannot stand high temperatures; it is more a finishing oil and you only need drops to make it work its magic flavor. The roasting gives the oil a refined taste somewhere between hazelnut and sesame and it also gives the oil a golden color.

It is popular in carrot and orange salads, as it adds a sweet, slightly toasted flavor. Also try it as a dipping oil for bread, or drizzle it over pancakes and creamy desserts.

Argan oil is rich in vitamin E and fatty acids, and is also known for its cosmetic use (use for skin, hair, facial, and nails care), however the toasting make this particular oil unfit.