Hot! Hotter! Soft ‘nduja, the soft Calabria salami

Nduja is a cured spicy spreadable salumi originally from Calabria

Between green mountains and crystal clear sea, the region of Calabria offers a plethora of unique delicacies, including ‘nduja, a curious spreadable deli meat, characterised by a bright red color and a fiery taste. 

Nduja is cured in a casing, like regular salame, but it maintains a soft texture that is spreadable at room temperature

Even if its origin is uncertain - maybe Spanish, because of the heavy use of chillies imported from the Americas, or possibly Medieval, but with a different recipe - we have good information about its name, which is definitely French in origin. Indeed, the French word andouille is used to indicate all preparations typical of salumeria.

'Nduja - a spicy sausage made of pig liver, fat and lung - has long been a staple of Italian diets

As it often happens, salumi are usually the result of our ancestors’ good habit of creating something delicious  from leftovers. ‘Nduja, for instance, is made with pig’s fat and lesser cuts, with the addition of Calabria’s own fresh sweet and hot chillies that, beside adding flavor and color to the product, are also filled with antioxidants and act as a natural preservative.

Nduja is a cured spicy spreadable salumi originally from Calabria

The meat, fat and chillies are ground very thinly until they become a cream, which is then put into the a traditional casing called orba and smoked with olive and locust tree wood. After a brief period of aging, it can last for over a year. Once used only as an accompaniment to vegetables, today ‘nduja has become a popular ingredient for pizzas and meat based pasta sauces. It has a DOP denomination.

La regione Calabria tra alte montagne e mare cristallino offre prelibatezze culinarie uniche,  tra queste 'nduja un interessante insaccato spalmabile dal colore rosso acceso e dal sapore inconfondibilmente infuocato!

Sebbene la sua origine sia incerta, forse spagnola per via della presenza del peperoncino portato dopo la scoperta delle Americhe (1500), o forse medioevale “rivisitata,” per il nome si hanno informazioni più certe e tutte d’oltralpe. Difatti con il termine francese  andouille si indicano tutte le tradizioni legate alla salumeria.


Come spesso accade queste tradizioni rispecchiano la capacità di creare da prodotti di scarto uniche leccornie gastronomiche. Per preparare l''nduja si utilizzano tutte le parti grasse e “non nobili” del maiale con aggiunta di peperoncino dolce fresco e piccante calabrese che oltre a dare sapore e colore ha proprietà antiossidanti che permettono di non utilizzare nessun conservate. La mistura viene tritata così finemente da trasformarsi in crema, insaccata nel tradizionale budello cieco detto orba e affumicata con legni di robinia o olivo. Si conserva dopo la breve stagionatura anche un anno.  

Tradizionalmente utilizzata solo sugli ortaggi, oggi la troviamo come ingrediente tipico sulla pizza e come base di intriganti ragù di carne.

La nduja ha ottenuto la Denominazione di Origine Protetta.

Receive More Stories Like This In Your Inbox



The thousand secrets of farro

Spelt, known to the ancient Romans as far, used to be their most common and best loved cereal up to the first republican period (509-264 BC). After,...

Italian Christmas cake face-off: panettone or pandoro?

You want clear lights on the tree, I think multi-colored are prettier; you prefer ham on the holiday table, I say turkey is tastier; you rock out to...

The tradition of Quinto Quarto cuisine: Trippa alla Romana

The term quinto quarto, “the fifth quarter,” refers to a type of cuisine born from poor, peasant kitchens, and the term itself originates from Rome...

Le Marche, Ascoli and the magic of Olives all’Ascolana

As big as a Robin’s egg, mildly tart with a hint of sweetness, and just-perfect chewy only begins to describe an Ascolana olive. Biting into one is a...

The Week of Italian Cuisine highlights Mediterranean diet and Apulia’s traditional food

The Mediterranean Diet as a model of proper eating, as a balanced and sustainable lifestyle for both health and environment, was the main topic of...

Weekly in Italian

Recent Issues