Saturday, 10 August 2013

100% Ethically Source and Organic Cooking Argan Oil from Alassala - Review



We all know the benefits of argan oil for beauty and the product has now become ubiquitous in cosmetics.
Many claiming they contain argan oil, even if it is a fraction of a percentage.
However, I fell in love with aragan oil for its initial intended purpose about 10 years ago : cooking !
The taste is wonderfully nutty but more discreet than hazelnut or walnut oil.
I used to buy it on trips to Morocco or some specialists shops on the continent.
Finally ! I can now buy it in the UK, online at Alassala :-) 

What is Alassala Organic Argan oil ?

Argan oil comes from the nut of the argan tree.
It is only found in South West Morocco and produced naturally by women cooperatives.
After cracking, the inner “almond” is ground into paste and the golden oil extracted. 
One tree, producing 30Kg of fruit, delivers just one litre of oil. Alassala Organic Moroccan Argan Oil is 100% pure and natural. It is perfect for healthy diet as it is rich in essential vitamins, such as Vitamin E and Omega acids.


Win your own Alassala's Organic Argan cooking oil and Alassala's olives of your choice starting soon.


A new competition to win the above will start on 20th August.
Come back to this site to enter through the rafflecopter on the competition post (Will be published 19th August)
See the range of olives here : Alassala's olive range



What does Alassala says about themselves ?


"Alassala. It is an Arabic word which signifies "authenticity and originality". We call our product Alassala because we only use authentic methods in preparing our products with no chemical or artificial elements, just like it used to be ages ago. You will not only enjoy the product but you will also enjoy the feeling of having a true, pure and natural, thus, authentic product.
The quality of our product was one of the reasons we became a member of the Food and Drink forum as well as East Midlands Fine Food and have been certified by, Ecocert, the European Council that control the organic agriculture in Morocco and by the UK Certification and Inspection Body Organic Farmers & Growers."

What are the health benefits of Organic Moroccan Argan Oil?

Alassala Moroccan Organic Argan Oil has a high level of Vitamin E, essential fatty acids ( Omega 3s,Omega 9s) plus plant sterols, making it highly effective at lowering  the level of cholesterol levels. 
Argan Oil is claimed to be the only natural cardio protective agent now available in the market. It promotes the secretion of a digestive enzyme, pepsin, to improve digestion, and has an anti-inflammatory action useful for reducing arthritic joint pains. 
It is also believed to be anti-cancerous. Traditionally, Argan Oil is also considered an aphrodisiac.


How best to enjoy Organic Moroccan Argan Oil?

Alassala Organic Argan Oil has a delicious nutty flavour and delicate nutty taste. 
It is ideal for dipping, salad dressing, seasoning and drizzling over pasta, fish, and meat dishes giving that unique delicious flavour to your dish.
You can also read my recipes for Moroccan chicken tajine (Traditional in the tajine dish or modernised in the casserole dish) here :

What are the environment and social benefit of Argan Oil?
(And what I love about Alassala !)

As Alassala Argan Oil is traditionally produced by women cooperatives in Morocco. For many of these women, working in Argan Oil production gives them an independent income, allowing them a degree of autonomy in a traditionally male-dominated society. 
Alassala are committed to the fair trade and the development of reliable, long-term and partnership-based trading relations with producers in Morocco and are currently applying for the fair trade status.
Apart from providing a reliable source of income, Argan Oil production also ensures a future for the Argan Tree (Argania Spinosa L.), a rare tree, indigenous to Morocco, which has been around for millions of years. 
The Arganerie, the main Argan Tree growing region, act as a natural barrier to the northward spread of the Sahara Desert, helping in the fight against climate change and preserving biodiversity. 
This region has been recognised by UNESCO as a World Biosphere Reserve since 1999.
The production of Argan Oil helps to ensure that Argan Trees are valued and protected, instead of being cut down for fire wood or cleared to make way for grazing for animals !


What else can I buy at Alassala ?

For the beauty addicts, Alassala also stores a whole range of cosmetic grade Argan product. Don't be tempted to use your cooking oil for your face and hair ! ;-)
The range offers a oil for the face and another for the hair.
For the foodies, Alassala stocks a whole range of Moroccan gourmet treats … and all the ingredients you will need for these delicious chicken tajines with lemon, olives and potatoes ;-)
The range offers : 
- 9 different kind of olives
- Olive and argan oils
- Preserved lemons
- Gherkins
- Amlou (A delicious spreadable paste of argan oil and toasted almond - Perfect for stocking fillers and small foodie presents)


Most recent Award :

Alassala's Amlou paste has just won the Gold Star at the Great Taste Awards 2013 organised by the Guild of Fine Food


How much does the food-grade argan oil cost ?

£11.99 for 100ml or £18.99 for 250ml
This may sound a bit expensive but considering this is the highest grade, ethical, organic and rare argan oil it is very fairly priced.
Compare it to the price of superior, small production olive oil and they are similar value. Only that you only need a tiny bit of argan oil to bring the taste out and the health benefits are even greater than olive oil.

My final verdict :

Considering the taste, quality and ethical policies of the company; I can only give it a raving 5 out 5 !

Disclaimer: Alassala has kindly provided me with a sample of the oil, olives and lemons to execute my recipe. The decision to create the recipe and all opinions expressed are my own. A review or feature was not expected and this post has not been sponsored in any way.




12 comments:

  1. I knew you could use argan oil for your hair but I never realised you could cook with it as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really is delicious.
      Cooking was its primary purpose but we have now adopted it in cosmetic use.
      Make sure you use the culinary one for food though ;-)
      x

      Delete
  2. I've used argan oil on my face, but I'd not thought about cooking with it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do get the food version of it though ;-)
      I noticed on Twitter you enjoy good food. I am sure you will love the nutty taste of the oil.
      Great blog, by the way : http://92three30.com
      Thank you visiting Erica.
      xx

      Delete
  3. Haven't heard of this but like nutty flavours so will look out for it on my next shop!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately, I have never seen it in Supermarket.
      You may be able to find it in specialist shops, in Selfridges and definitely online at Alassala.

      Hope you find some easily, really worth the try.
      x

      Delete
  4. I've never tried cooking with argan oil.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It tastes deliciously nutty.
      Make sure it is the cooking type though ;-)
      xx

      Delete
  5. I have only ever bought this type of oil for my hair!!!! Amazing how we can cook with it too! Thanks for sharing x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really works wonder on the hair. But don't use the cooking one on your hair and vice-versa ;-)
      x

      Delete