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Merguez /mɛərˈɡɛz/ is a red, spicy mutton- or beef-based fresh sausage from the Arab[1][2][3] North African cuisine. It is originally made and introduced by bedouins.[4] It is also popular in the Middle East and Europe, having become particularly popular in France by the closing decades of the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 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 (mirkas (ﻤﺮﻛﺲ), pl. marākis (ﻤﺮﺍﻛﺲ), mirkās (ﻤﺮﻛﺎﺱ), markas (ﻤﺭﻛﺲ) and mirqāz (ﻤﺮﻗﺲ) is a famous sausage in the Maghrib 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 pronounced as /ɡ/, either exclusively or as an allophone of /q/.[5] It is first attested in Andalusian Arabic in the 12th century, as mirkās or merkās.[6][7] One author connects the word to the Spanish morcilla or morcon.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ French words: Past, Present, and Future. M.H. Offerd. 2001. Page 89.
  2. ^ Research in African Literatures. Volume 34. 2003. Page 34.
  3. ^ Jane Grigson's Fruit Book. Jane Grigson. 2007. Page 38.
  4. ^ Merquez and Qadid, Nort- African preserved Meats.
  5. ^ Pellat, Encyclopaedia of Islam, 2nd edition
  6. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, Third Edition, 2001, s.v. merguez
  7. ^ a b Trésor de la langue française, s.v. merguez no direct link


External links[edit]