Believed to be one of the rarest oils in the world, argan oil is a robust, nutty oil made largely in Morocco from the nuts of the argan tree. Argan trees used to cover much of North Africa but they are now greatly reduced in numbers, hence the high price of argan oil. The nut is very difficult to remove from its sturdy fruit and the nuts were originally harvested, not from the tree, but from the droppings of the goats that climbed the trees and ate the fruit. The nut is related to the olive but has a distinct flavour of its own; its oil is used to add flavour to dressings and soups.
You should be able to buy argan oil from specialist food shops or delis.
Argan oil can be drizzled over food before serving or stirred into soups, couscous and tagines. It has numerous health benefits and is also used as a skincare product.