Friday, March 09, 2007

Brown Bag Lunch #2: A Little Dab Nduja

Believe it or not, this is a jar of sausage. Nduja, pronounced /n-DOO-yah/ is a spreadable sausage from Calabria where word has it, people like it hot. This sausage spread has at least as much red, hot pepperoncino as it does pork and interestingly, the name derives from the French, "Andouille" sausage, the ancestor of Louisiana Andouille, the be all and end all of gumbo.
After almost 4 years of living in Italy, I have become accustomed to disregarding Italians' warnings of how "piccante" some food might be. As a rule Italian food (at least all the way up here in Milan) is mild, and Italians I know rather wary of spice in general. So when I saw this jar, I thought, "eh, it's probably moderately spicy." Let me tell you, ladies and gentlemen, this is 4-alarm chili hot! I stuck my pinkie finger into the jar and tasted less than a 1/4 teaspoon of this and proceeded to gulp down a full glass of water to calm the inferno on my tongue.
Don't get me wrong, this stuff is really good. Spread really thinly on a sandwich with some fresh mozzarella cheese and bread (both things help moderate spiciness) you can taste a good earthy base to the chilis here, there's an umami quality along with the spice that's really pleasant. Music to eat Nduja by: "Runnin' Wild" sung by Marilyn Monroe in "Some Like it Hot" And it makes a helluva lunch.


Blogger Asha said...

Spreadable Sausage!! Sounds yum!!Hot is gooood!!!

2:59 PM  
Anonymous Ellie said...

Sausage spread? Dangit, why can't we get interesting things like that here in Oz?! :(

7:08 AM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Asha, Oh, it is sooo hot! I was shocked.

Hi Ellie, Whaddya mean? You all have Vegemite, after all. My husband really digs that.

10:10 AM  
Blogger Tracie B. said...

is it thick? it sounds delicious :)

3:37 PM  
Blogger hellomelissa said...

mozzarella and lettuce seem the perfect compliment to the fire. spicy is great, but when it fries your tastebuds it's not!

1:18 PM  
Anonymous rowena said...

Nduja? What a score!!! Wish there was something like that over at the Polentonissimo this w/e. Sounds and looks delish and right now I'm humming to the tune of Disco Inferno... Burn baby burn!

5:37 PM  
Blogger J said...

That looks GORGEOUS! What time is lunch? ;)

I tagged you for a food meme, if you're not bored to tears by too many of those. :)

7:00 PM  
Anonymous scott said...

dang, this sounds wonderful. wonder where I can get my hands on some?

9:36 PM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hey Tracie, It's thick and even more so when the olive oil congeals in the fridge. (eeew!)

Hi Melissa, This is burn your tongue hot unless you mitigate it with something.

Hi J., Thanks! I'll get on the meme asap.

Hi Scott, I'd be shocked if those Calabrian-Americans didn't import this stuff.

9:56 PM  

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