Almost unknown until 2006 when chef Francesco Mazzei put it on the menu in London, nduja has recently become very popular and appreciated.

Nduja

What’s Nduja?

It’s a spicy, spreadable pork salami from Calabria in southern Italy.

Pronounced ‘in-DOOJ-ah’ and spelt with an apostrophe at the beginning, 'nduja originates from the small southern Calabrese town of Spilinga and its neighbourhood, where much of it still comes from.

The name is probably a derivative of the French andouille, introduced in the 13th century by the Angevins. When the French fought the Spanish in southern Italy, they may have helped in the development of ‘nduja.

What is Nduja made of?

It is typically made with parts of the pig such as the shoulder and belly, as well as tripe, roasted peppers and a mixture of spices.

'Nduja is made using meat from the head, trimmings from various meat cuts, some clean skin, fatback, along with herbs, spices and roasted hot red peppers which give 'nduja its characteristic fiery taste and a distinctive red colour.

What does Nduja taste like?

‘Nduja is similar to sobrasada from the island of Mallorca in Spain.

It is fiery-hot and piggy, two very good flavours together which work particularly well for the British palate.

Can you eat Nduja raw?

Its unique taste makes it suitable for a variety of dishes. It's the go-to ingredient for a bit of a kick, a bit like a non-vegetarian chilli oil.

In Italy, it is mainly consumed by spreading it on slices of toasted bread, better if still hot, or with semi-mature cheese.

However, it's great with anything. For example, it can be added to pasta sauces. It is used as a sauté for the base of a ragù or a tomato sauce. Try it in a regional Italian dish such as orecchiette with nduja, red onion, tomato and rocket salad.
In addition to this, it can be used to garnish pizza, before other toppings if raw, or freshly baked; it can be used in the composition of omelettes.

The popularity of ‘nduja boomed around 2015–2016 in the UK. Considered the "ingredient of the moment", it is showing up everywhere in gourmet dishes: on pizza, stuffed inside squid, sprinkled in pasta.