What is Nduja? Sometimes called 'ndugghia' or 'nnuglia' it is not dissimilar from the tripe salami known in France as 'andouille'. Although available all over Italy it originates from the zone of Monte Poro in Calabria and the hinterland of Capo Vaticano between Nicotera and Tropea. Specifically, Spilinga.
It is made from pig's fat or 'lardo', kidney and the lungs of the animal. All the offal is (very) finely chopped and wrapped in an intestine along with a healthy dose of Calabrian peperoncino. It is then matured for 12 months to render the aroma and taste even stronger.
It is ideal sliced and added to an antipasti or, alternatively, as an ingredient in sauces for pasta dishes. Do look out for the mashed version which is availible in red glass jars and can be spread on hot toast or bruschette.
Remember a glass of water will only make it worse. Drink red wine to reduce the burning sensation in your mouth. The experts suggest something mature and soft such as a Cirò Rosso, Savuto Superiore or a Pollino Superiore.
To get up close in its natural environment make a note of the 'Sagra della 'nduja' which is held every August in Spilinga. Find out about this and Nduja in general from the two fine links below. The first has an English language introduction; the second is in Italian, but has great images of the Nduja fair.
WHO MAKES NDUJA
Nduja e Salumi
Spilinga (Vibo Valentia)
Azienda "San Donato" dei F.lli Pugliese
Spilinga Monte Poro (Vibo Valentia)
See more Calabria salami types