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All About Nduja: Spreadable Salame

Taste Test: Nduja, Boccalone's Spreadable Salame

I've long been a fan of local talent Chris Cosentino and his offal-inspired Italian restaurant, Incanto. So when news, well, spread last month that Cosentino's salumeria Boccalone Artisan Meats was debuting the first spreadable salame — Nduja, as it's called — to be produced in the States, I knew I had to get my hands on some right away. Did the salumi live up to all its wonderment? Find out when you

.

Nduja is nothing new — in fact, it's one of the better-known specialties that comes from the southernmost Italian region of Calabria. Pronounced "en-doo-ya," this delicacy takes its name from the French word andouille, which means "sausage." Made of pork meat, pork fat, salt, and copious amounts of red pepper, nduja is extremely spicy — and, for that reason, considered by many to be an aphrodisiac.

I picked up some spreadable salame at the Boccalone boutique in the Ferry Building Marketplace, but the Oakland-based company also carries most of its products online, including the nduja ($24 for two sausages). Despite my penchant for all things spicy, the nduja, which had a texture slightly firmer than that of liverwurst, was shockingly fiery on the tongue. In addition to possessing the vibrant flavor of Calabrian chili peppers, the burnt-orange-hued meat spread also had a robust porkiness and a hint of aromatic bitterness from the addition of orange rind. The high fat content made for a creamy, smooth texture that was a great foil to crispy water crackers or toasted, grilled bread.

Given all its press, I wondered if nduja would be merely a novelty, but a taste test proved me wrong. With its piquant, highly seasoned flavor, this spreadable delight isn't for everybody, but for those who appreciate spice, it's a worthwhile endeavor. Does spreadable salame sound like something you would try?


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Join The Conversation
AmberHoney AmberHoney 6 years
OMGoodness - I've never heard of this and I'm definitely gonna eat it.
nancita nancita 6 years
I have never heard of such a thing but it sounds incredible!
Food Food 6 years
Zulkey, nduja is actually pretty dense, too — much more so than liverwurst or paté.
Zulkey Zulkey 6 years
sounds intriguing but I have to admit that dense texture is half the reason I love salami.
CoconutPie CoconutPie 6 years
It sounds really good!
Spectra Spectra 6 years
I don't like regular salami and I don't like spreadable meat-spread stuff like liverwurst or pate, so I'd probably skip this stuff. My husband might really like it though.
doogirl doogirl 6 years
I'd totally try it, but the idea of spreadable salame is kinda weird!
PartySister PartySister 6 years
Ok, I know I just said I was vegetarian, but this was SO amazing!!!!! Perfect with grilled provolone
partysugar partysugar 6 years
This is so good!
sexylibrarian sexylibrarian 6 years
Sounds delicious!
Smacks83 Smacks83 6 years
Yep yep yep!
smaine07 smaine07 6 years
Nope..looks kinda gross to me.. I am very picky though. lol
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