Nduja is one of the most famous, if not the most famous, among the typical Calabrian food products. Nduja (attention: nduja, not nduia!) Is a soft, spreadable, very spicy salami.
The name nduja derives from the French "andouille", which means "sausage". It is not, however, a sausage, however much it may resemble one.
Nduja is made with pork, some fat, and a lot of hot pepper. And it is precisely because of the abundant chilli that nduja is very spicy. It is no coincidence that someone might prefer a "light" version.
The nduja has a red color - needless to say - due to the presence of the chilli, and a consistency that does not become hard even after maturing.
It is almost superfluous to underline how nduja, thanks to the exquisite taste and spiciness due to so much chili, is considered by some to be an aphrodisiac. One may be skeptical about it, but nduja certainly has beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system.
Nduja is distinctly different from any other cured meat, with an absolutely unmistakable taste. The quality of the chilli also has its importance to obtain such a characteristic result. Not infrequently it can happen that the chilli, among other things of dubious quality, is used to mask non-excellent basic foods. But when it comes to Calabrian products, the doubt cannot exist. In fact, in Calabria chilli is not just an ingredient, it is much more: it is tradition, culture, history.
In nduja, not only is quality chilli pepper used, but it is also used in quantity. A mouth not accustomed to such spicy tastes might have a difficult approach to nduja (as well as to other typically spicy Calabrian products). It can help to prepare the nduja by heating it a little in a saucepan and mixing it with ricotta, which will soften the spiciness of the nduja. Then spread the mixture on slices of bread, preferably slightly toasted on a plate or grill. The nduja can also be used to season pasta, pizzas, as well as anything your imagination suggests.
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