|Region or state||Maghreb|
|Created by||Maghreb region|
|Main ingredients||Lamb or beef|
|Ingredients generally used||Cumin and chili pepper or harissa|
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Merguez (//, from Arabic: مرقاز, also مركاس, مرقاس, مرقاص) is a red, spicy mutton- or beef-based fresh sausage in Maghrebi cuisine. Since the late twentieth century, it has been popular in France as well.
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 give it its characteristic piquancy and red color, as well as other spices such as sumac, fennel, and garlic.
There are several spellings in Arabic (مِركس mirkas, pl. مراكس marākis; مِركاس mirkās, مَركس markas and مِرقاز mirqāz). The hesitation between k and q probably reflects 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/. It is first attested in Andalusian Arabic in the 12th century, as mirkās or merkās. One author connects the word to the Spanish morcilla or morcon.
- Davidson, Alan, "Merguez", Oxford Companion to Food (1999), p. 497. ISBN 0-19-211579-0
- Ch. Pellat, "Mirkās", Encyclopaedia of Islam, 2nd edition.