Meet Mapuche Style Merken
with Stephanie Bullen
June 23, 2014
Of all of our new Pura Vida Latin-inspired blends, it’s possible that the Mapuche Style Merken Seasoning has sparked the most conversation. In order to really understand this blend, you have to know where the name came from.
The Mapuche people are indigenous to Chile. For generations, the Chilean go-to spice has been a flavorful blend of ground, smoked aji cacho de cabra (Goat’s Horn chiles) mixed with coriander, cumin, and salt. Unfortunately, Goat’s Horn chiles are not commercially available in the United States. To replicate the flavor of these chiles, we use a blend of other chiles and smoked sweet paprika. While the ingredients aren’t exactly the same as the native Mapuche people use, we think the flavor captures the essence of this fantastic seasoning, which is why we call it ‘Mapuche Style’.
Used in everything from cheese to nuts, meats and lentils, this warm seasoning adds rich flavor to what can sometimes be bland food on its own. This mighty seasoning has long been known as ‘merken’. This spelling is widely used in Chile and is a version of the Mapuche word ‘mezken’.
This seasoning is perfect for recreating traditional Chilean dishes. If you’re not yet familiar with Chilean favorites, here are some of ours:
Pebre & Chancho en Piedra is a typical Chilean condiment, similar to salsa, consisting of onions, garlic, chiles, tomatoes, coriander, vinegar, and olive oil. We suggest replicating this easy-to-use sauce by adding Mapuche Style Merken Seasoning to your favorite fresh salsa recipe or to our recipe for Fire Roasted Salsa. Serve Chilean style, with an array of grilled meats.
Chacarero is a traditional Chilean steak sandwich. A little bit of everything all rolled into one, this sandwich has meat, veggies, an avocado spread, and a creamy Merken sauce. Think of our version as a South American twist on a hearty steak sandwich. We top our chacarero with beer battered green beans–which, when coupled with the Merken Spiced Dipping Sauce, are a DIY version of a classic bar food snack.
We encourage you to explore Mapuche Style Merken Seasoning. If you come up with any recipes using Merken, please share them with our test kitchen (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we’ll share them with our customers.