Names: spicy soft salami · spicy pork butter · the Red Nutella
About: A delicacy of Calabria in southern Italy, ‘Nduja was traditionally made from ground “poor cuts”, like the pig’s head, stomach, and small intestines. Today, this spreadable meat is made by finely grinding a pork meat and fat, seasoning it with lots of spicy chiles, and then aging it for 1 year in a casing.
Benefits: anti-inflammatory effects · improves heart health
Nutrients: protein · potassium
Replaces: Frank’s Red Hot or Sriracha
WHERE TO BUY
Store: An Italian market · specialty food chain like Trader Joe’s.
HOW TO 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. Let it come to room temperature so it becomes easily spreadable. 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.
- 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—mmm, tasty.
* * *
With ‘nduja, you can really do ANYTHING. Spread it on toast, or mix it into your omelette. Melt it into pasta sauce, or stir it into soup. Smear it on your burger bun or mash it into potatoes.
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.