Argan is called the gold of Morocco. No doubts why, it is loaded with vitamin E and helps to keep the skin firm and healthy. Unfortunately, due to an overwhelming interest of tourists, many producers go cheap and to different ways to trick people. Beware of “pure” oils sold in touristy spots.
I once bought a “100% oil” and then I figured out it was a 40% one… Now I buy it only in cooperatives.
Remember that proper packaging helps to keep your oil good. Look for dark, glass bottles. Dark color protects the precious liquid gold from the sun!
There are many European or American brands selling quality argan oil online. You can order them in your country and be sure that they are certified, but the price will be way higher than in Morocco.
Olive Oil and Olives
Moroccan olives are my favourite ever. In Marrakech there is a special olive market, called souk zitoun in Darija, where you ca buy various olives (with thyme, soaked in harissa, with preserved lemons etc).
They make a great, fresh and cheap gift as well!
Moroccan honey are worth giving a try as they are completely different from the European ones. I still prefer Polish ones (not so strong in taste) but if you like crisp taste, you will love Moroccan cacti honey! Other popular types are rosemary and orange blossom ones. You can buy them in cooperatives all over Morocco and stores with herbs or concept stores.
In Marrakesh there is a Polish friend of mine (also Monika) who runs Ayaso Concept Store. They sell purely organic, eco and chemical-free products
Amlou or “Moroccan Nutella”. There is just a slight difference ;) amlou is way healthier than Nutella. It is made from three key ingredients: grounded almonds, orange blossom honey and argan oil. Beware of the cheap versions with peaunuts or the extreme hardcore with sugar or table oil! Good quality amlou will never be cheaper than 20 euros a litre!
Moroccan pastries are beautiful and they would make a great gift! Moroccans like sweets so don’t worry, it’s easy to find delicious cookies around every corner :)
Among the most popular and fancy ones are “cornes de gazelle” that look like horns of a gazelle:) they are stuffed with almond filling. I am not a fan, but if you like marzipan you will love these as well!
Black soap is a great gift, especially for women! It is produced locally and naturally and is super cheap. You can buy it per kilo or in ready packed boxes or bags. There are also different variations, for example with lavender or argan oil.
Morocco is famous for its spices and most of tourists usually buy bundles before they leave the Kingdom. The best ones to buy in Morocco are: cumin, turmeric, paprika. You should also try ras el hanout which is “the roof of the shop” – a perfect blend of more than 10 freshly ground spices. Other herbs and spices you should buy: harissa, a spicy sauce made of chilli peppers, mint and dried verveine.
If you head to the south of Morocco and the Sahara region, make sure to go to shops with mehlafs – traditional, Mauritanian fabrics that Sahraouiyas (women from Sahara) wrap around their body. Swedish friends of mine, who live in Morocco, use them as curtains, pillow cases etc. They are so unique in their design and will make a perfect decoration in your house!
Do you have other gift ideas? What is your favourite choice?