Merkén, from the Mapuches to the world

He merkén It is a typical and original dressing of the Mapuche peoples, native inhabitants of southern Chile and Argentina. Its main ingredient is goat chub Capsicum annum , variety of hot pepper in Chile. These are still collected green during the summer and are allowed to ripen until they have a reddish hue. Later they dry in the sun, then they smoke over the fire so that they obtain a flavor that is very characteristic to them. Finally they are hung on the beams of the ceilings waiting for their grinding.

The elaboration of authentic merkén It is made by grinding the whole chili pepper (including the seeds) in stone mortars until it is left as powder or flakes without adding anything else. Currently this grinding is done in hammer mills. There are some variants of this seasoning, such as the natural merkén to which sea salt has been added and the special merkén to which in addition to the sea salt, roasted and crushed coriander seeds have been added.

This seasoning with earth and smoke aroma has caught the attention of professional chefs those that have seasoned modern preparations such as: meats, fish, chicken, potatoes, oils, vinegars, jams, chocolates and fruits. Today it is a product that is exported to different countries, if you have the opportunity to try it, do not hesitate to do it because it will be a playful encounter with the senses.