Production Of Olive Oil In Morocco
The olive tree is one of the more than 5,000 plant species in Morocco. The country is also the world’s largest producer of olives, with fields covering almost 400,000 acres throughout the country. Many of these trees produce high-quality fruit that’s perfect for harvesting for oil. So it should come as no surprise that olive oil plays a big role in Moroccan cooking. Whether you are visiting this lovely country or want to put its flavors on your table back home, this guide has all you need to know about olive oil in Morocco, from where to find it and how to use it in your recipes at home.
How to Recognize Good Quality Moroccan Olive Oil
When shopping for olive oil, make sure you’re buying a product that’s fresh and pure. Look for a seal of authenticity on the bottle. You can also tell by the color if you’re buying good quality olive oil. Light or extra-light oils have a very pale color and a mild, neutral flavor. Darker oils are more aromatic and flavorful. When purchasing olive oil, look for the following qualities:
– A fresh, nutty, herbal aroma – this is a sign of high quality.
– A deep green, almost blue color.
– A liquid consistency, not too thick or runny.
– The absence of an “off” smell or taste.
Varieties of Olive Oil Available From Morocco
The best way to understand the many different types of olive oil available in Morocco is to understand what types of olives are used to produce the oils. Some of the most common varieties of Moroccan olives used to make olive oil include:
– Arbi: This is a cultivated variety of black, Manzanilla-type olives.
– Bouzoug: This is a variety of wild olives that are dark brown in color.
– Dafina: Dafina are small, black olives that are either cultivated or harvested from trees growing wild.
– Ghali: These are small, dark green olives that are either cultivated or harvested from trees growing wild.
– Joun: This is a cultivated variety of black olives that are medium-sized.
– Klef: This is a cultivated variety of green olives that are large in size.
– Lakhdar: These are cultivated black olives that are small in size.
– Manzanilla: These are cultivated green olives that are large in size and have a bitter taste.
– Med: These are green olives that are small in size and have a very bitter taste.
– Makhzen: These green olives are either cultivated or harvested from trees growing wild.
– Mehal: This is a cultivated variety of green olives that are small in size.
– Mejdoul: These are medium-sized black olives that are either cultivated or harvested from trees growing wild.
– Yaourti: These are dark green olives that are either cultivated or harvested from trees growing wild.
Other Foods That Feature Olive Oil From Morocco
Besides being an essential part of many Moroccan dishes and salads, olive oil is also used to flavor Moroccan bread and tea.
– Moroccan bread: The traditional Moroccan bread is often served alongside tagines and other Moroccan dishes. Flavored with olive oil and spices such as cumin, cloves, and cinnamon.
– Tea: Green tea with honey and olive oil is a popular Moroccan drink, often served with a meal or as a snack.
How to Use Moroccan Olive Oil While Cooking
Olive oil is perfect for sautéing and stir-frying, but it also shines as a finishing oil to drizzle over a salad or a savory dish like roasted vegetables. Use it for sautéing as long as you don’t heat it to its smoke point, which is about 320°F. The smoke point for olive oil varies depending on its composition (more on that below). For roasted vegetables, drizzle the vegetables with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then roast them in the oven for about 20 minutes. Olive oil is also an excellent choice for dressing salads, drizzling over sliced avocado or roasted vegetables, or dipping bread.
Morocco Olive Oil Production
To understand the Production Of Olive Oil In Morocco, it’s helpful to know a bit about the harvesting of olives. The harvesting season begins in October and ends in March. For best results, they harvest the olives at the end of October or the beginning of November. After harvesting, the olives are then ground into a paste and then fermented for up to two weeks. The next stepping is pressing the paste, which results in liquid filling the bottle. The entire process takes 4–6 weeks, with the first press yielding the finest quality oil. The remaining pulp is then ground again, fermented for another two weeks, pressed, and the resulting liquid is the less-refined oil.
When visiting Morocco, one of the best ways to experience the culture is to savor its cuisine. And what better way to do that than to try some of the olive oil produced in this Mediterranean country? In fact, olive oil is so important to the Moroccan diet that it is often served with bread at the beginning of every meal. To put its flavors on your table back home, start by finding a good quality, fresh bottle of Moroccan olive oil. Once you do, you can use it to flavor everything from roasted vegetables to salads.
You can buy Moroccan Olive Oil right here.
Stefan & Sons Import and Export LLC. also carries: Moroccan Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil LES TERROIRS DE MARRAKECH – 250 ml Glass Bottle and Atlas Moroccan Extra Virgin Olive Oil- 500ml