Spotlight Spice: Merquén

Merquén (or merkén) is a blend of smoked chili peppers which is traditionally used as a condiment in Mapuche cuisine in Chile. It’s more recently gained popularity internationally, and is commonly used in Chilean cuisine as a replacement for fresh chili peppers.

AllSpicer Andy at Cerro San Cristóbal in Santiago, Chile in 2015.

It’s one of AllSpicer Andy’s favorite condiments. He fell in love with in on a business trip to Chile in 2015. “Merquén was everywhere, and I used it liberally. When I came home, I wanted to find something similar, so we sourced it for the shop,” says Andy.

Our version combines select sweet, spicy and smoked chilies with sea salt and spices. Andy recommends using it as a dry rub for pork or beef, as a smokey, slightly sweet and salty addition to soups and stews, or as a spice for seafood like shrimp, tuna, or ceveche. It also works well as a general seasoning. Andy puts it on sandwiches, cottage cheese, baked potatoes, and more.

Pick up a jar and bring a taste of Mapuche cuisine to your meals.