Merquez is a small, thin spicy sausage of Tunisian and Algerian origin. It's very popular in Morocco and is becoming increasingly available outside of North Africa. Both fresh and dried versions may be prepared.
Traditionally made with ground lamb, merguez may also be prepared with beef or a combination of the two meats. The characteristic red color and spicy flavor of merguez comes from a combination of paprika, cayenne pepper and harissa. Other key seasoning includes cumin, garlic, coriander and fennel seeds, with some merquez recipes including other herbs and spices such as cinnamon, caraway seeds, za'atar and less commonly, Ras el Hanout.