Morocco is a beautiful country famous for its artisanal goods like rugs and pottery, it is hard to go there and not bring something back. This Moroccan Shopping Guide will make your visits to the many Moroccan souks a breeze, as we list must-buy items when in Morocco.
Moroccan Argan Oil
The reason behind the goats in the trees is Argan nuts. Argan trees can be found in the southern regions of Morocco, making it the ideal place to purchase argan oil products like the hair oil everyone has come to love. Buying the oil while in Morocco ensures the oil is natural, and you know that your money is supporting local Moroccans. Plus, you can even see it made the traditional Berber way. During our trip, we learned that argan oil can not only be used for beauty-related purposes like skincare and hair care, but one is also made for cooking.
Moroccan Black Soap
We fell in love with Moroccan black soap after it being used on us in the hammam. The black soap is part of the traditional hammam ritual. It is the first treatment in an oriental public bath. The natural vegetable paste is based with black olives which are rich in vitamin E. It has the texture of butter, and once applied to the skin and rinsed off, your skin is left feeling baby soft.
Leaving Taroudant, we stopped in Taliouine, the heart of Morocco’s saffron producing region. This region produces more saffron than any other place in Africa. Did you know that saffron is the filament of the Crocus flower? I did not and I have that plant popping up in my garden every spring. While in Taliouine, we learned how to spot fake saffron, along with the many uses of this spice.
Moroccan hospitality is centered around tea – mint tea, that is. To be honest, it was one of the things we were looking forward to the most on our visit back. Moroccan mint tea is like no other, from the dramatic way it is poured forming bubbles in the glass, to its refreshing flavor even on a hot day. There was no way we could pass up bringing back some to indulge in while back in the states.
We also brought back Royal Tee, which is a blend of green tea, rosemary, sage, black cumin (by itself a good treatment for snoring, I was told), dried cumin flowers, cinnamon, anise, cardamom, ginseng and ginger that is brewed for special guests or occasions.
You cannot possibly serve proper Moroccan tea without presenting them in beautifully colored teapots and teacups like the Moroccans. While in Fes, we visited the Pottery and Mosaic Cooperative where artisans handcrafted tiles, pottery like vases, and tea sets. There were so many beautiful sets from which to choose. Some were elaborate in both looks and prices adorned with silver trimmings and hand-painted designs. I ended up purchasing a white tea set with blue hand-painted designs.
These tiny pieces of crystalized menthol are extremely potent. One whiff of it made all of us cough. Afterward, our nasal passages were cool and clear. The crystals proved to be the perfect antidote for congestion. In addition to helping with respiratory ailments, we were told that these crystals are also good for muscle aches, rheumatoid and osteoarthritis pain, respiratory ailments.
The Alum stone is a crystal that is used as a natural deodorant. It has been over a year since I have stopped using regular deodorants (for health reasons) and have used the crystal. I even use it on my daughter whose pits can be a bit stinky. The crystal inhibits the growth of bacteria that cause odor, regulates perspiration and neutralizes odors. I love it so much that I stocked up on it while in the old Souks of Marrakech, and so did my mom-in-law.
One simply cannot visit Morocco without buying leather goods. The leather in Morocco is unique in that it is tanned the same way it has been for centuries. While in Fez, we visited the infamous Chouara Tannery of Fez. You have seen pictures of the dyeing vats all over the internet and social media. You have heard that it smells terrible and that if you can endure the scent you can walk away with great deals on leather items like jackets, bags, belts, and shoes.
I ended up purchasing a yellow ochre overnight bag, my husband got a large carry-on, and my mother-in-law picked up a jacket.
People come from all over to purchase handcrafted Moroccan rugs. We had the opportunity to watch one get made. A lot of work and attention to detail goes into these rugs, it is made sense why people from all over – even celebrities – purchase these rugs. In Morocco, the rugs can be purchased cheaper and can be custom designed. Rug shops usually have a wide range of carpets on display, and can even customize them and ship them to your home. I fell in love with this beautiful blue rug. It felt amazing on my feet, but we did not end up getting it.
Now that you have this list of must-buy Moroccan goods, it is time to work on your haggling game to ensure you get the best deal. Moroccan’s love a haggler – good hagglers at that. I was told on many occasions that I must be Moroccan because I had the skill down to a science.
Now, it is time to find your flight to Morocco! Oh, and make sure you bring something back for me.
What are some items you would bring back from Morocco?
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