From the archives: Nduja—what is it?



We’re up in Alaska this week … so today I’m running something from the archives (April 2009). I’ll be back shortly with photos and chronicles from the great North.


Recently I went into San Francisco to attend a Pisco-tasting at La Mar, which is at Pier 1.5, the next building over from the Ferry Building on Embarcadero. Whenever I’m down there I run over to the Ferry Building for two reasons: 1) to get my parking validated (it’s only $5—yay!) and 2) to pick up salami at Boccalone, which also has some phenomenal charcuterie sandwiches.

When I was there Boccalone was promoting a new arrival: Nduja. I wasn’t familiar with it so, of course, I bought some. Whoo, what a treat!

Not being familiar with nduja (and intrigued by the correct pronunciation), I looked it up online. Here’s what says:

What is nduja? Nduja is a soft, spicy hot, spreadable salami considered one of the most famous, if not the most famous, of typical calabrian foods. Nduja originates from Spilinga, though great nduja can be found in all areas of Monte Poro. The name nduja comes from the french word “andouille”, which means “sausage”. Nduja is made with pork meat, a bit of fat, salt and a lot of red pepper. In general, nduja is extremely spicy. However, for those less adventuresome souls, a less spicy version can sometimes be found (just ask). Nduja is often considered an aphrodisiac due to all of the red pepper inside, and is also great for the heart and tastes wonderful.

Normally folks eat salamis with bread or crackers, but since I watch my gluten intake very carefully I use cucumber slices as my cracker. To be honest, I love it much more. The cucumber is a cool and refreshing counterpoint to the spiciness of the sausage. Plus, it’s got a nice crunchiness to it.

I had some leftover garlic and Parmesan spread that I dolloped on top with a sprig of dill and oh, my heavens … SO GOOD IT WAS SINFULLY DELICIOUS!

If you haven’t tried nduja before, I highly recommend it.


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