Merkén (also known as merquén) is a flavorful, potent blend of chiles and spices including smoky aji cacho de cabra (also known as Chilean goat’s horn chile), salt, toasted coriander and cumin seeds. Iconic in its native Chile, merkén originated with the cuisine of Chile’s indigenous Mapuche people.
Once derided as a symbol of poverty, since the beginning of the 21st century merkén has experienced a resurgence in popularity with professional chefs in and outside of its native Chile. It is often found on the kitchen table, just as pepper might be in North America, and is used to flavor everything from soups to salads to meats and more.
Bold, pungent and flavorful, merkén imparts incredible flavor and aroma to a wide array of dishes and makes an ideal seasoning for grilled meat.
- Blend into ground meat for empanadas, or use as a rub for grilled or roasted meat, fish, or poultry
- Use to season soups, stews and dips
- Use to season roasted or stewed potatoes or vegetables
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