Merguez (/mɛərˈɡɛz/) is a red, spicy mutton- or beef-based fresh sausage in Maghrebi cuisine.[1][2] Since the late 20th century, it has been popular in France and Great Britain due to the large Algerian populations.[3][4]

Alternative namesمرقاز
Region or stateMaghreb
Associated cuisine
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 give it its characteristic piquancy and red color, as well as other spices such as sumac, fennel and garlic.

Merguez is usually eaten grilled. While not in traditional maghrebi couscous, it is often used in Couscous royal in France. It is also eaten in sandwiches and with french fries.


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/.[5] It is first attested in the 12th century, as mirkās or merkās.[6]

The Arabic terminology for the food is also the likely origin of the Spanish names of the foodstuffs morcon and morcilla.[7]

See also


  1. الدبابي الميساوي, سهام (2017). مائدة إفريقية-دراسة في الوان الطعام. Majmaʻ al-Tūnisī lil-ʻUlūm wa-al-Ādāb wa-al-Funūn, Bayt al-Ḥikmah. Archived from the original on 1 March 2018. Retrieved 2 December 2021.
  2. "Merguez, the Algerian sausages | Le Kesh". Retrieved 2021-11-23.
  3. Doris Bensimon-Donath (3 December 2018). L'intégration des juifs nord-africains en France. ISBN 9783111557724.
  4. Amy Hubbell (2013). "(In)Edible Algeria: Transmitting Pied-Noir Nostalgia Through Food".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. Pellat, Encyclopaedia of Islam, 2nd edition
  6. Oxford English Dictionary, Third Edition, 2001, s.v. merguez
  7. Trésor de la langue française, s.v. merguez


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