Ark of taste
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Guertoufa, tiklilt, takkélt

Elgertoufa, (Cotula cinerea Del or Brocchia cinerea Del), also called guertoufa or, in Berber language, tiklilt o takkélt, is a tomentose herbaceous plant, characterized by relatively undeveloped underground, cylindrical and white roots. The green-gray stem, instead, is branched and can reach 40 cm. The small flowers, which blossom between February and May, are green-yellow and have the shape of a trident.

The plant grows wild in the sand deserts in the regions of Boudnib, Zagora, Errachidia and Tafilalt or in the plain of Beni Moussey. This aromatic plant is typical of the nomadic traditions of these regions. It is known and used not only in the kitchen and to make teas and infusions, but more importantly for its many medicinal properties. According to the Tuareg tradition, three glasses of this herb’s infusion are recommended. A saying states: the first glass is as hard as life, the second is as sweet as love and the third is as light as the breath of death. As a medicine, it is used to wet the forehead against fever or as a powder to treat intestinal disorders. It is also a good remedy against scorpions’ bites: it is one of the rare plants that can fight the poison of this animal.

Today, due to growing desertification and climate change, it is at risk of extinction, as the ecosystems where it grows have become much weaker.

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Spices, wild herbs and condiments

Nominated by:Khalid Sellam