ət-təffaħ ən-nifuħ التّفّاح النّيفوحFor the tale's purposes, of course, all that matters about this evocative phrase is that it refers to something that it will take a long and arduous quest to get. But the historically minded listener may be excused for speculating on the phrase's origin.
əlli yṛədd əṛ-ṛuħ اللي يردّ الرّوح
m-əs-səb`a jbal مسّبعة جبال
the fragrant apple
that restores the soul
from the Seven Mountains
Etymologically, the phrase is mildly interesting. nifuħ is unexpected, and possibly distorted to fit the rhyme - a more normal term, with obvious Classical Arabic origins, would be nəffaħ; it might have arisen by contamination from əlli yfuħ “which smells” (especially since əlli in Kabyle is ənni.) But it may be possible to look deeper.
Ceuta (Arabic səbta سبتة) is an ancient Moroccan port town at the edge of the Straits of Gibraltar which has been part of Spain since 1668. Its name derives from a longer Latin one - Septem Fratres, the Seven Brothers, said to be a reference to seven hills around the city; it was a wild area, among the last places in North Africa where elephants were found (as noted by Pliny.) And the region around the Straits of Gibraltar is where the gardens of the Hesperides were supposed to be located - where the Golden Apples grew. Is ət-təffaħ ən-nifuħ one of the Golden Apples?