‘Nduja (n-due-yah) is a spreadable, spicy, red pork meat that can be found everywhere in Calabria. Calabria is the southern Italian region that is the “toe” of the boot, so to speak. ‘Nduja Nduja is used for sauces, bruschetta, or on anything that spreadable meat – spalmabile – would be tasty, including a spoon.
‘Nduja is produced from the throat of a pig, called the guanciale meat, and also the guanciale – stomach meat – and the back lardo, or fat. The lardo, when mixed with salt and added to the meat, takes on another name that has no exact English translation, called sugna. This meat and fat mix is ground with salt, local peperoncino (the Italian chili pepper), and absolutely nothing else. Not even nitrates, a common preservative added to most sausages and cured meats (linked to a higher risk in cancer), adulterate this all-natural ‘nduja. Salt, the extended maturation, and the fact that 30% of ‘nduja is peperoncino, which acts as a natural preservative, defy the need for synthetic additives.