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Merguez (/mɛərˈɡɛz/, from Arabic: مرقاز‎, also مركاس, مرقاس, مرقاص) is a red, spicy mutton- or beef-based fresh sausage from Maghrebi cuisine. It is also popular in the Middle East and Europe, having become particularly popular in France by the closing decades of the twentieth century.

Merguez sausages.jpg
Alternative namesمرقاز
Region or stateNorth Africa
Invented12th century
Main ingredientsLamb or beef
Ingredients generally usedCumin and chili pepper or harissa

Merguez is a sausage made with uncooked lamb, beef, or a mixture stuffed into a lamb-intestine casing. It is heavily spiced with cumin and chili pepper or harissa (which gives it its characteristic piquancy and red color) as well as other spices such as sumac, fennel, and garlic.

Merguez is usually eaten grilled. Dried merguez is used to add flavor to tagines. It is also eaten in sandwiches and with french fries.



Merguez, for which there are several spellings even in Arabic (مِركس mirkas, pl. مراكس marākis; مِركاس mirkās, مَركس markas and مِرقاز mirqāz) is a famous sausage in the Maghreb region. The hesitation between k and q probably reflecting the pronunciation /ɡ/, for which there is no standard Arabic spelling; further confusing matters is that in some maghrebi dialects, Arabic qāf is sometimes pronounced as /ɡ/, as an allophone of /q/.[1] It is first attested in Andalusian Arabic in the 12th century, as mirkās or merkās.[2][3] One author connects the word to the Spanish morcilla or morcon.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Pellat, Encyclopaedia of Islam, 2nd edition
  2. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, Third Edition, 2001, s.v. merguez
  3. ^ a b Trésor de la langue française, s.v. merguez


  • Davidson, Alan, "Merguez", Oxford Companion to Food (1999), p. 497. ISBN 0-19-211579-0
  • Ch. Pellat, "Mirkās", Encyclopaedia of Islam, 2nd edition.

External linksEdit