What Is Nduja Sausage?

Nduja is cooked with pork fat, herbs, and spices, as well as hot Calabrian peppers, which lend nduja chili heat and a characteristic red hue. It is pronouced in-DOOJ-ah in Mazzei’s Calabrian dialect. Much of it still originates in the province of Vibo Valentia, namely from the town of Spilinga.

Nduja: What Is It?

The fermented pig salume known as “nduja” is soft, spreadable, and spiced with hot Calabrian peppers. It was created in Spilinga, a small Calabrian town with a few thousand residents. Although there are many different ideas about how it obtained its name, the Angevins, who ruled over Calabria in the 13th century, are probably to blame for the word’s resemblance to the French andouille. The Aragonese, who eventually ruled the area as well, may have had some impact on the sausage, which shares many similarities with Spanish sobrasada.

We do know that ‘nudja was created out of necessity and poverty as a cured pork product for those with little means, even though its complete genesis story is still somewhat obscure. The most expensive prime cuts of pork were sold by poor farmers who reared and killed pigs to wealthy and royal families. The leftovers from the slaughtering process included offal, extra fat, and meat trim, which the farmers were left with. These scraps weren’t a delicacy on their own, but they could be turned into something delicious (and spoilage-resistant) when blended together, strongly spiced, stuffed into a casing, and cured for a long time (known in other parts of Italy as the “quinto quarto,” or “fifth quarter,” in reference to the four primal cuts on an animal.

In ancient days, ‘nduja included organ meat like lungs that would have otherwise gone to waste in addition to fatty pieces of hog from the belly and back. At its most basic, ‘nduja is made only with ground pork, salt, and a mouth-numbingly fiery dose of Calabrian chilies, which gives the salume its distinctive crimson glow. Modern ‘nduja-makers may also use other ingredients.


The spicy, spreadable pork sausage known as “nduja” originates from the Calabrian area of Southern Italy. It is loosely based on the Frenchandouille and is comparable to the Spanish dish sobrassada from the Balearic Islands. It comes from the region surrounding the unassuming Calabrian town of Spilinga and is considered Calabria’s contribution to the various varieties of Italian salami.

The head meat—absent the jowls, which are used for guanciale—as well as trimmings from other meat cuts, some clean skin, fatback, and roasted Calabrian chilli peppers are used to make ‘nduja. These peppers also give ‘nduja its distinctively spicy flavor. All of these are combined into mince, which is then placed in huge sausage casings and smoked to create a soft giant sausage from which the spicy mixture can subsequently be removed as desired. Typically, nduja is served with bread or ripe cheese. Due to its distinctive flavor, it can be used in many different cuisines. It can be included in spaghetti sauces, for instance. It can be purchased as thick slices of the soft ‘nduja sausage or in jars. In the past, Southern Italian peasants who were indigent consumed a mixture of leftover meats termed ‘nduja.

Around 2015–2016, ‘Nduja’s popularity soared in the US and the UK; it was used in meals at eateries like London’s Temple and Sons and New York City’s Spotted Pig.

Nduja sausage: Is it cooked?

Nduja doesn’t require cooking before consumption. It can be used in cooking to provide color and heat as well as being eaten as a spread on crackers or bread due to its texture. It can be used sparingly in a variety of dishes, including cooked pasta, scrambled eggs, omelettes, potato frittatas, savory muffin batter, bread or scone dough, as well as various soups and stews.

What are some uses for nduja sausage?

  • Put it on pizza as a topping. Sprinkle nduja over the sauce or incorporate it into a homemade sauce.
  • Dot nduja over the cheese to create a next-level grilled cheese.
  • On grilled or toasted bread, spread it. Or create a bold, addicting BLT.
  • To make nduja croutons (or crumbs), melt the nduja with the olive oil in a skillet, add the bread, and toast slowly and gently until crispy (approximately 15 to 20 minutes for croutons, less time for crumbs) over low heat, taking care not to let the nduja burn. Your persistence will be greatly acknowledged.

How healthy is nduja sausage?

Since pork is the primary component of ‘nduja, it will have many of the same nutritional advantages.

As a result, this beef paste is a strong source of protein and also contains high levels of selenium and a variety of B vitamins (2).

Since a lot of chili peppers are used to make ‘nduja, a lot of capsaicin is also included in it. According to research, this contains roughly 17 mg of capsaicin per gram (3).

The ingredient in chili peppers that gives them their spiciness, capsaicin, may also have some advantages for vascular health (4).

However, there aren’t many human experiments to back up bold assertions in this area.

Nduja sausage: how hot is it?

The spicy, spreadable sausage from southern Italy is called “nduja.” Pork, fat, herbs, spices, and indigenous Calabrian chillies are used to make the sausage, which also has a dark red color and a spicy flavor. It is frequently spread on toast, flavored into sauces and stews, and used as a topping for pizza because it doesn’t need to be cooked.

When pregnant, is nduja sausage safe to eat?

Having food illness after consuming cold-cured meats like salami and chorizo is extremely unlikely. Because of this, the NHS advises against eating cold-cured meats during pregnancy unless the package specifically states that it is safe to do so.

However, if you want to be extra cautious, avoid consuming cold-cured meats when you are expecting unless you have cooked them yourself. Alternately, you might freeze them at home for four days before defrosting and consuming. It will eliminate all parasites.

Although it is a very small risk, consuming cold-cured meats can cause listeriosis.

Additionally, consuming cold-cured meats might result in toxoplasmosis or salmonella food poisoning. Salmonella food illness can be very uncomfortable for you, but it is unlikely to harm your unborn child.

Find out what else you should stay away from while pregnant.

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It might be challenging to determine the etiology of listeriosis and toxoplasmosis because the illnesses give you flu-like symptoms a few weeks after you become sick. Salmonella food poisoning typically presents with more overt signs and symptoms including diarrhoea and vomiting right away after eating the contaminated food.

Toxoplasmosis and listeriosis are both very minor infections for you, but they could be dangerous for your unborn child. Serious health issues may result from these illnesses. Sadly, they can occasionally result in stillbirth or miscarriage.

If you’ve already had cold-cured meats while pregnant, try not to panic. Toxoplasmosis and listeriosis are extremely uncommon, and your infant is at very low risk.

You are permitted to consume cooked cured meats, thus they are acceptable ingredients for pizza or pasta dishes. However, they must be prepared to a scorching temperature and consumed immediately.

Which two meats are used to make nduja?

In modern times, off-cuts are no longer used to make nduja; rather, throughout the winter, a complex preparation involving lard, finely chopped pancetta, guanciale, a cured meat made from hog cheeks, dried and fresh herbs, and of course, Calabrian red chilies is used to make nduja. Amazingly, the antibacterial and antioxidant properties of the chilies mean that the sausage mixture needs no coloring or preservatives.

The ‘nduja is fed into the casing, lightly smoked with aromatic herbs and olive, oak, or acacia wood, and allowed to naturally cure for three to six months.

Nduja is a vegetarian.

With no meat whatsoever, Belazu’s vegan Nduja paste has all the spiciness and umami flavor of this famous Italian favorite. This spreadable paste is a fiery and flavorful concoction of Calabrian chilies and peppers that nonetheless has the recognizable meaty undertone of Nduja. Warm chilli kicks off the dish as it comes to a close, leaving you craving more.

With what do you eat nduja?

I’m certain that ‘Nduja from Calabria is addicting. Nduja salami spread is creamy, spicy but aromatic, it may improve the flavor of many foods, and it can transport you to Calabria whenever you want. After just one taste, you’ll be in love. Even something as straightforward as ‘Nduja salami smeared on a slice of toast will please your palette and senses.

Nduja goes incredibly well with strong-flavored cheeses like Gorgonzola, Caciocavallo, and smoked Provola because of its spicy flavor. Try it with veggies and lentils, as well as with eggs and sausages.

In the past, people in Calabria kept ‘nduja on the dinner table so they could always reach for it and spread it on bread or spaghetti to their liking.

This soft cold cut’s outstanding quality is due to its excellent preservation; in fact, it contains a significant amount of salt and “Tri Pizzi” red hot chilli pepper. This curing spice blend is used to flavor the meat mixture created from finely minced, flavorful pork pieces like fatback, pork jowl, and belly. The finished product is manually inserted into natural casings, mildly smoked naturally, and then allowed to mature for three to six months.

Nduja is one of those cuisines that transcends boundaries and can be enjoyed by everyone, provided they like spicy food, of course, after giving it some thought. Due to the fact that ‘Nduja is absolutely unique, it is wonderful on its own, in classic dishes, and in contemporary ones.

With this Calabrian treat, let’s move on to more meals where dieting won’t be a major concern!

Which pig body part is nduja?

The spicy spreadable sausage known as “nduja” is prepared from pork. It is often prepared with tripe, roasted peppers, and a variety of spices, along with pig parts such the shoulder, belly, and jowl. It is a salami variety from Calabria that is loosely based on the French Andouille that the Angevins introduced in the 13th century.

Named after the coarse-grained French smoked meat andouille, which is cooked with pig, pepper, onions, wine, and seasonings. The head meat—absent the cheeks, which are used for guanciale—along with trimmings from other meat cuts, some clean skin, fatback, and roasted spicy red peppers—which are what give ‘nduja its distinctively fiery flavor—are used to make ‘nduja.

Nduja is from the southern region of Calabria, specifically from the nearby tiny town of Spilinga.

Nduja is frequently served with toast or ripe cheese. Due to its distinctive flavor, it can be used in many different cuisines. It can be included in spaghetti sauces, for instance.

What flavor does nduja have?

Nduja is largely a pig product, hence it has a particularly meaty flavor. The aromatics of the numerous herbs and spices accompany the mouthwatering pork flavor, adding to its depth and complexity. With dominant earthy and neutral tones that go superbly with carbohydrates like bread and spaghetti, it is a beautiful fusion of spice, salt, and umami.

Since it is a very soft salume that is wonderfully spreadable and simple to incorporate during the cooking process, the spread has a texture that is almost identical to butter. You can either go all out and serve a dollop of Nduja on top of some delectable bread, or you can add a tiny bit of it to your cuisine for just a dash of spice.