‘Nduja is a soft, spicy and hot spreadable salami. It is one of the most famous, if not the most famous, of typical Calabrian foods. As you know I like to eat local food! It originates from Spilinga, a town in the north of Calabria, where they have an annual ‘Nduja festival. More of that later!
If you like your food spicy, this is for you. For every 2kg of meat, you need 1kg of Calabrian chillies! In Calabria, chillies are not only an ingredient, they are much more. Chillies represent tradition, culture and history.
After adding the chillies, the only other ingredient is salt. The very liberal use of Calabrian chillies, with its antiseptic and antioxidant properties, means that ‘Nduja does not need preservatives or dyes. It’s then sometimes smoked and left for a few months for the flavours to develop.
It is a very versatile salami that can be used in many ways. The classic is to spread it on warm bruschetta. People also use it as a base for a ragù or a simple tomato sauce. ‘Nduja is also excellent to accompany semi-aged cheeses, to fill omelettes and to garnish pizza.
Sagra della ‘Nduja di Spilinga
The Sagra della ‘Nduja di Spilinga normally takes place every year in the first week of August in Spilinga. This event dates back to 1975. It was the first gastronomic and cultural event of the whole Calabria Region and beyond. The streets normally ring to the sounds of hungry people waiting to tuck into their favourite snack!
However, this year, due to Covid restrictions, they had to set up the “‘Nduja Village” and restrict entry to 600 people a day. Due to other commitments we weren’t able to visit this year. However, it is in the diary for next year, when hopefully things will be back to normal!