‘Nduja

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1. WHAT IS IT?

Pronounced: en-doo-yah

AKA: spicy soft salami; spicy pork butter; flaming liquid salami; the Red Nutella

Country of origin: Italy

Animal of origin: pig

History: ‘Nduja is loosely related to andouille, a French sausage introduced to Italy in the 13th century. And just like andouille, the Italian version was traditionally made from “poor cuts”, like the pig’s head, stomach, and small intestines. Today, this spreadable meat is made from a pig’s hind leg (prosciutto) and speck (fat). A delicacy of Calabria in southern Italy, ‘nduja is mixed with lots of red pepper for a big heat profile.

 

NOTE: This meat spread is mildly spicy. For those who can’t handle the heat, but still want to experience the taste of ‘nduja, use it in moderation or dilute the intensity by mixing it with ricotta, yogurt, or heavy cream.

 

2. IS IT HEALTHY?

Nutritional Value: protein, potassium

Health Benefits: anti-inflammatory effects, improves heart health

Replaces: Frank’s Red Hot or Sriracha

 

3. WHERE CAN I FIND?

Where: An Italian market, or you can order it online at laquercia.us, or zingermans.com

 

4. HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?

Store: ‘Ndjua can be kept outside the fridge for a week or two as its many spices act as a natural preservative.

If you prefer to keep it in the fridge, be sure to keep it wrapped in its casing. Use a spoon to scoop out the spread, leaving the skin untouched. Wrap the exposed meat with its excess casing and refrigerate for up to 1 month.

NOTE: Refrigerated ‘nduja will start to dry and harden from extended exposure to oxygen, but it’s still edible.

 

5. I DIDN’T KNOW THAT. . .

  • The aging process for ‘nduja takes almost 1 year.
  • In Italy it is more commonly pronounced doo-yah.
  • Once a peasant dish, ‘nduja was made from the pig’s spleen, stomach, intestine, lungs, esophagus, heart, trachea, pharynx, facial muscles, and lymph nodes.

 

6. BUT HOW DO I EAT IT?

With ‘nduja, the sky is the limit. You can spread it on toast or fried eggs; melt it into pasta or pizza sauces; stir it into soup, or rub it onto chicken.

Chicken Salad Sandwich with ‘Nduja

 

Craving more? Check out these recipes:

Spaghettini with ‘Nduja (from cooking.nytimes.com)

‘Nduja Meatballs (from thetasteofcalabria.com)

 

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